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Sample records for atherosclerotic plaque volume

  1. Progress in atherosclerotic plaque imaging

    PubMed Central

    Soloperto, Giulia; Casciaro, Sergio

    2012-01-01

    Cardiovascular diseases are the primary cause of mortality in the industrialized world, and arterial obstruction, triggered by rupture-prone atherosclerotic plaques, lead to myocardial infarction and cerebral stroke. Vulnerable plaques do not necessarily occur with flow-limiting stenosis, thus conventional luminographic assessment of the pathology fails to identify unstable lesions. In this review we discuss the currently available imaging modalities used to investigate morphological features and biological characteristics of the atherosclerotic plaque. The different imaging modalities such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, nuclear imaging and their intravascular applications are illustrated, highlighting their specific diagnostic potential. Clinically available and upcoming methodologies are also reviewed along with the related challenges in their clinical translation, concerning the specific invasiveness, accuracy and cost-effectiveness of these methods. PMID:22937215

  2. Ultrafast laser ablation for targeted atherosclerotic plaque removal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanvin, Thomas; Conkey, Donald B.; Descloux, Laurent; Frobert, Aurelien; Valentin, Jeremy; Goy, Jean-Jacques; Cook, Stéphane; Giraud, Marie-Noelle; Psaltis, Demetri

    2015-07-01

    Coronary artery disease, the main cause of heart disease, develops as immune cells and lipids accumulate into plaques within the coronary arterial wall. As a plaque grows, the tissue layer (fibrous cap) separating it from the blood flow becomes thinner and increasingly susceptible to rupturing and causing a potentially lethal thrombosis. The stabilization and/or treatment of atherosclerotic plaque is required to prevent rupturing and remains an unsolved medical problem. Here we show for the first time targeted, subsurface ablation of atherosclerotic plaque using ultrafast laser pulses. Excised atherosclerotic mouse aortas were ablated with ultrafast near-infrared (NIR) laser pulses. The physical damage was characterized with histological sections of the ablated atherosclerotic arteries from six different mice. The ultrafast ablation system was integrated with optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging for plaque-specific targeting and monitoring of the resulting ablation volume. We find that ultrafast ablation of plaque just below the surface is possible without causing damage to the fibrous cap, which indicates the potential use of ultrafast ablation for subsurface atherosclerotic plaque removal. We further demonstrate ex vivo subsurface ablation of a plaque volume through a catheter device with the high-energy ultrafast pulse delivered via hollow-core photonic crystal fiber.

  3. Ultrasound Tissue Characterization of Vulnerable Atherosclerotic Plaque

    PubMed Central

    Picano, Eugenio; Paterni, Marco

    2015-01-01

    A thrombotic occlusion of the vessel fed by ruptured coronary atherosclerotic plaque may result in unstable angina, myocardial infarction or death, whereas embolization from a plaque in carotid arteries may result in transient ischemic attack or stroke. The atherosclerotic plaque prone to such clinical events is termed high-risk or vulnerable plaque, and its identification in humans before it becomes symptomatic has been elusive to date. Ultrasonic tissue characterization of the atherosclerotic plaque is possible with different techniques—such as vascular, transesophageal, and intravascular ultrasound—on a variety of arterial segments, including carotid, aorta, and coronary districts. The image analysis can be based on visual, video-densitometric or radiofrequency methods and identifies three distinct textural patterns: hypo-echoic (corresponding to lipid- and hemorrhage-rich plaque), iso- or moderately hyper-echoic (fibrotic or fibro-fatty plaque), and markedly hyperechoic with shadowing (calcific plaque). Hypoechoic or dishomogeneous plaques, with spotty microcalcification and large plaque burden, with plaque neovascularization and surface irregularities by contrast-enhanced ultrasound, are more prone to clinical complications than hyperechoic, extensively calcified, homogeneous plaques with limited plaque burden, smooth luminal plaque surface and absence of neovascularization. Plaque ultrasound morphology is important, along with plaque geometry, in determining the atherosclerotic prognostic burden in the individual patient. New quantitative methods beyond backscatter (to include speed of sound, attenuation, strain, temperature, and high order statistics) are under development to evaluate vascular tissues. Although not yet ready for widespread clinical use, tissue characterization is listed by the American Society of Echocardiography roadmap to 2020 as one of the most promising fields of application in cardiovascular ultrasound imaging, offering unique

  4. Noninvasive imaging modalities to visualize atherosclerotic plaques

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is becoming a major cause of death in the world due to global epidemic of diabetes and obesity. For the prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, it is necessary to detect high-risk atherosclerotic plaques prior to events. Recent technological advances enable to visualize atherosclerotic plaques noninvasively. This ability of noninvasive imaging helps to refine cardiovascular risk assessment in various individuals, select optimal therapeutic strategy and evaluate the efficacy of medical therapies. In this review, we discuss the role of the currently available imaging modalities including computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography. Advantages and disadvantages of each noninvasive imaging modality will be also summarized. PMID:27500092

  5. Lipidome of atherosclerotic plaques from hypercholesterolemic rabbits.

    PubMed

    Bojic, Lazar A; McLaren, David G; Shah, Vinit; Previs, Stephen F; Johns, Douglas G; Castro-Perez, Jose M

    2014-12-15

    The cellular, macromolecular and neutral lipid composition of the atherosclerotic plaque has been extensively characterized. However, a comprehensive lipidomic analysis of the major lipid classes within atherosclerotic lesions has not been reported. The objective of this study was to produce a detailed framework of the lipids that comprise the atherosclerotic lesion of a widely used pre-clinical model of plaque progression. Male New Zealand White rabbits were administered regular chow supplemented with 0.5% cholesterol (HC) for 12 weeks to induce hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis. Our lipidomic analyses of plaques isolated from rabbits fed the HC diet, using ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) and high-resolution mass spectrometry, detected most of the major lipid classes including: Cholesteryl esters, triacylglycerols, phosphatidylcholines, sphingomyelins, diacylglycerols, fatty acids, phosphatidylserines, lysophosphatidylcholines, ceramides, phosphatidylglycerols, phosphatidylinositols and phosphatidylethanolamines. Given that cholesteryl esters, triacylglycerols and phosphatidylcholines comprise greater than 75% of total plasma lipids, we directed particular attention towards the qualitative and quantitative assessment of the fatty acid composition of these lipids. We additionally found that sphingomyelins were relatively abundant lipid class within lesions, and compared the abundance of sphingomyelins to their precursor phosphatidylcholines. The studies presented here are the first approach to a comprehensive characterization of the atherosclerotic plaque lipidome.

  6. Lipidome of Atherosclerotic Plaques from Hypercholesterolemic Rabbits

    PubMed Central

    Bojic, Lazar A.; McLaren, David G.; Shah, Vinit; Previs, Stephen F.; Johns, Douglas G.; Castro-Perez, Jose M.

    2014-01-01

    The cellular, macromolecular and neutral lipid composition of the atherosclerotic plaque has been extensively characterized. However, a comprehensive lipidomic analysis of the major lipid classes within atherosclerotic lesions has not been reported. The objective of this study was to produce a detailed framework of the lipids that comprise the atherosclerotic lesion of a widely used pre-clinical model of plaque progression. Male New Zealand White rabbits were administered regular chow supplemented with 0.5% cholesterol (HC) for 12 weeks to induce hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis. Our lipidomic analyses of plaques isolated from rabbits fed the HC diet, using ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) and high-resolution mass spectrometry, detected most of the major lipid classes including: Cholesteryl esters, triacylglycerols, phosphatidylcholines, sphingomyelins, diacylglycerols, fatty acids, phosphatidylserines, lysophosphatidylcholines, ceramides, phosphatidylglycerols, phosphatidylinositols and phosphatidylethanolamines. Given that cholesteryl esters, triacylglycerols and phosphatidylcholines comprise greater than 75% of total plasma lipids, we directed particular attention towards the qualitative and quantitative assessment of the fatty acid composition of these lipids. We additionally found that sphingomyelins were relatively abundant lipid class within lesions, and compared the abundance of sphingomyelins to their precursor phosphatidylcholines. The studies presented here are the first approach to a comprehensive characterization of the atherosclerotic plaque lipidome. PMID:25517033

  7. Hyperspectral imaging of atherosclerotic plaques in vitro

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, Eivind L. P.; Randeberg, Lise L.; Olstad, Elisabeth; Haugen, Olav A.; Aksnes, Astrid; Svaasand, Lars O.

    2011-02-01

    Vulnerable plaques constitute a risk for serious heart problems, and are difficult to identify using existing methods. Hyperspectral imaging combines spectral- and spatial information, providing new possibilities for precise optical characterization of atherosclerotic lesions. Hyperspectral data were collected from excised aorta samples (n = 11) using both white-light and ultraviolet illumination. Single lesions (n = 42) were chosen for further investigation, and classified according to histological findings. The corresponding hyperspectral images were characterized using statistical image analysis tools (minimum noise fraction, K-means clustering, principal component analysis) and evaluation of reflectance/fluorescence spectra. Image analysis combined with histology revealed the complexity and heterogeneity of aortic plaques. Plaque features such as lipids and calcifications could be identified from the hyperspectral images. Most of the advanced lesions had a central region surrounded by an outer rim or shoulder-region of the plaque, which is considered a weak spot in vulnerable lesions. These features could be identified in both the white-light and fluorescence data. Hyperspectral imaging was shown to be a promising tool for detection and characterization of advanced atherosclerotic plaques in vitro. Hyperspectral imaging provides more diagnostic information about the heterogeneity of the lesions than conventional single point spectroscopic measurements.

  8. Therapeutic strategies to deplete macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques

    PubMed Central

    De Meyer, Inge; Martinet, Wim; De Meyer, Guido R. Y.

    2012-01-01

    Macrophages can be found in all stages of atherosclerosis and are major contributors of atherosclerotic plaque development, progression and destabilization. Continuous recruitment of monocytes drives this chronic inflammatory disease, which can be intervened by several strategies: reducing the inflammatory stimulus by lowering circulating lipids and promoting cholesterol efflux from plaque, direct and indirect targeting of adhesion molecules and chemokines involved in monocyte adhesion and transmigration and inducing macrophage death in atherosclerotic plaques in combination with anti-inflammatory drugs. This review discusses the outlined strategies to deplete macrophages from atherosclerotic plaques to promote plaque stabilization. PMID:22309283

  9. Cap buckling as a potential mechanism of atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability.

    PubMed

    Abdelali, Maria; Reiter, Steven; Mongrain, Rosaire; Bertrand, Michel; L'Allier, Philippe L; Kritikou, Ekaterini A; Tardif, Jean-Claude

    2014-04-01

    Plaque rupture in atherosclerosis is the primary cause of potentially deadly coronary events, yet about 40% of ruptures occur away from the plaque cap shoulders and cannot be fully explained with the current biomechanical theories. Here, cap buckling is considered as a potential destabilizing factor which increases the propensity of the atherosclerotic plaque to rupture and which may also explain plaque failure away from the cap shoulders. To investigate this phenomenon, quasistatic 2D finite element simulations are performed, considering the salient geometrical and nonlinear material properties of diverse atherosclerotic plaques over the range of physiological loads. The numerical results indicate that buckling may displace the location of the peak von Mises stresses in the deflected caps. Plaque buckling, together with its deleterious effects is further observed experimentally in plaque caps using a physical model of deformable mock coronary arteries with fibroatheroma. Moreover, an analytical approach combining quasistatic equilibrium equations with the Navier-Bresse formulas is used to demonstrate the buckling potential of a simplified arched slender cap under intraluminal pressure and supported by foundations. This analysis shows that plaque caps - calcified, fibrotic or cellular - may buckle in specific undulated shapes once submitted to critical loads. Finally, a preliminary analysis of intravascular ultrasonography recordings of patients with atherosclerotic coronary arteries corroborates the numerical, experimental and theoretical findings and shows that various plaque caps buckle in vivo. By displacing the sites of high stresses in the plaque cap, buckling may explain the atherosclerotic plaque cap rupture at various locations, including cap shoulders.

  10. Application of infrared fiber optic imaging in atherosclerotic plaques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Bujin; Casscells, S. W.; Bearman, Gregory H.; McNatt, Janice; Naghevi, Morteza; Malik, Basit A.; Gul, Khawar; Willerson, James T.

    1999-07-01

    Rupture of atherosclerotic plaques - the main cause of heart attach and stokes - is not predictable. Hence even treadmill stress tests fail to detect many persons at risk. Fatal plaques are found at autopsies to be associated with active inflammatory cells. Classically, inflammation is detected by its swelling, red color, pain and heat. We have found that heat accurately locates the dangerous plaques that are significantly warmer then atherosclerotic plaques without the same inflammation. In order to develop a non-surgical method of locating these plaques, an IR fiber optic imaging system has been developed in our laboratory to evalute the causes and effect of heat in atherosclerotic plaques. The fiber optical imagin bundle consists of 900 individual As2S3 chalcogenide glass fibers which transmit IR radiation from 0.7 micrometers 7 micrometers with little energy loss. By combining that with a highly sensitive Indium Antimonide IR focal plane array detector, we are able to obtain thermal graphic images in situ. The temperature heterogeneity of atherosclerotic plaques developed in the arteral of the experimental animal models is under study with the new device. The preliminary experimental results from the animal model are encouraging. The potential of using this new technology in diagnostic evaluation of the vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques is considerable.

  11. High shear stress induces atherosclerotic vulnerable plaque formation through angiogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yi; Qiu, Juhui; Luo, Shisui; Xie, Xiang; Zheng, Yiming; Zhang, Kang; Ye, Zhiyi; Liu, Wanqian; Gregersen, Hans; Wang, Guixue

    2016-01-01

    Rupture of atherosclerotic plaques causing thrombosis is the main cause of acute coronary syndrome and ischemic strokes. Inhibition of thrombosis is one of the important tasks developing biomedical materials such as intravascular stents and vascular grafts. Shear stress (SS) influences the formation and development of atherosclerosis. The current review focuses on the vulnerable plaques observed in the high shear stress (HSS) regions, which localizes at the proximal region of the plaque intruding into the lumen. The vascular outward remodelling occurs in the HSS region for vascular compensation and that angiogenesis is a critical factor for HSS which induces atherosclerotic vulnerable plaque formation. These results greatly challenge the established belief that low shear stress is important for expansive remodelling, which provides a new perspective for preventing the transition of stable plaques to high-risk atherosclerotic lesions. PMID:27482467

  12. Atherosclerosis and Atheroma Plaque Rupture: Imaging Modalities in the Visualization of Vasa Vasorum and Atherosclerotic Plaques

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Invasive angiography has been widely accepted as the gold standard to diagnose cardiovascular pathologies. Despite its superior resolution of demonstrating atherosclerotic plaque in terms of degree of lumen stenosis, the morphological assessment for the plaque is insufficient for the analysis of plaque components, and therefore, unable to predict the risk status or vulnerability of atherosclerotic plaque. There is an increased body of evidence to show that the vasa vasorum play an important role in the initiation, progression, and complications of atherosclerotic plaque leading to major adverse cardiac events. This paper provides an overview of the evidence-based reviews of various imaging modalities with regard to their potential value for comprehensive characterization of the composition, burden, and neovascularization of atherosclerotic plaque. PMID:24688380

  13. Imaging Modalities to Identity Inflammation in an Atherosclerotic Plaque

    PubMed Central

    Goel, Sunny; Miller, Avraham; Agarwal, Chirag; Zakin, Elina; Acholonu, Michael; Gidwani, Umesh; Sharma, Abhishek; Kulbak, Guy; Shani, Jacob; Chen, On

    2015-01-01

    Atherosclerosis is a chronic, progressive, multifocal arterial wall disease caused by local and systemic inflammation responsible for major cardiovascular complications such as myocardial infarction and stroke. With the recent understanding that vulnerable plaque erosion and rupture, with subsequent thrombosis, rather than luminal stenosis, is the underlying cause of acute ischemic events, there has been a shift of focus to understand the mechanisms that make an atherosclerotic plaque unstable or vulnerable to rupture. The presence of inflammation in the atherosclerotic plaque has been considered as one of the initial events which convert a stable plaque into an unstable and vulnerable plaque. This paper systemically reviews the noninvasive and invasive imaging modalities that are currently available to detect this inflammatory process, at least in the intermediate stages, and discusses the ongoing studies that will help us to better understand and identify it at the molecular level. PMID:26798515

  14. Small entities with large impact: microcalcifications and atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability

    PubMed Central

    Hutcheson, Joshua D.; Maldonado, Natalia; Aikawa, Elena

    2014-01-01

    Purpose of review Atherosclerotic plaque rupture and subsequent acute events, such as myocardial infarction and stroke, contribute to the majority of cardiovascular-related deaths. Calcification has emerged as a significant predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, challenging previously held notions that calcifications stabilize atherosclerotic plaques. In this review, we address this discrepancy through recent findings that not all calcifications are equivalent in determining plaque stability. Recent findings The risk associated with calcification is inversely associated with calcification density. As opposed to large calcifications that potentially stabilize the plaque, biomechanical modeling indicates that small microcalcifications within the plaque fibrous cap can lead to sufficient stress accumulation to cause plaque rupture. Microcalcifications appear to derive from matrix vesicles enriched in calcium-binding proteins that are released by cells within the plaque. Clinical detection of microcalcifications has been hampered by the lack of imaging resolution required for in-vivo visualization; however, recent studies have demonstrated promising new techniques to predict the presence of microcalcifications. Summary Microcalcifications play a major role in destabilizing atherosclerotic plaques. The identification of critical characteristics that lead to instability along with new imaging modalities to detect their presence in vivo may allow early identification and prevention of acute cardiovascular events. PMID:25188916

  15. Shape-based segmentation and visualization techniques for evaluation of atherosclerotic plaques in coronary artery disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rinck, Daniel; Krüger, Sebastian; Reimann, Anja; Scheuering, Michael

    2006-03-01

    Multi-slice computed tomography (MSCT) has developed strongly in the emerging field of cardiovascular imaging. The manual analysis of atherosclerotic plaques in coronary arteries is a very time consuming and labor intensive process and today only qualitative analysis is possible. In this paper we present a new shape-based segmentation and visualization technique for quantitative analysis of atherosclerotic plaques in coronary artery disease. The new technique takes into account several aspects of the vascular anatomy. It uses two surface representations, one for the contrast filled vessel lumen and also one for the vascular wall. The deviation between these two surfaces is defined as plaque volume. These surface representations can be edited by the user manually. With this kind of representation it is possible to calculate sub plaque volumes (such as: lipid rich core, fibrous tissue, calcified tissue) inside this suspicious area. Also a high quality 3D visualization, using Open Inventor is possible.

  16. Quantitative evaluation of lipid concentration in atherosclerotic plaque phantom by near-infrared multispectral angioscope at wavelengths around 1200 nm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsui, Daichi; Ishii, Katsunori; Awazu, Kunio

    2015-07-01

    Atherosclerosis is a primary cause of critical ischemic diseases like heart infarction or stroke. A method that can provide detailed information about the stability of atherosclerotic plaques is required. We focused on spectroscopic techniques that could evaluate the chemical composition of lipid in plaques. A novel angioscope using multispectral imaging at wavelengths around 1200 nm for quantitative evaluation of atherosclerotic plaques was developed. The angioscope consists of a halogen lamp, an indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) camera, 3 optical band pass filters transmitting wavelengths of 1150, 1200, and 1300 nm, an image fiber having 0.7 mm outer diameter, and an irradiation fiber which consists of 7 multimode fibers. Atherosclerotic plaque phantoms with 100, 60, 20 vol.% of lipid were prepared and measured by the multispectral angioscope. The acquired datasets were processed by spectral angle mapper (SAM) method. As a result, simulated plaque areas in atherosclerotic plaque phantoms that could not be detected by an angioscopic visible image could be clearly enhanced. In addition, quantitative evaluation of atherosclerotic plaque phantoms based on the lipid volume fractions was performed up to 20 vol.%. These results show the potential of a multispectral angioscope at wavelengths around 1200 nm for quantitative evaluation of the stability of atherosclerotic plaques.

  17. Macrophage-targeted photodynamic detection of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamblin, Michael R.; Tawakol, Ahmed; Castano, Ana P.; Gad, Faten; Zahra, Touqir; Ahmadi, Atosa; Stern, Jeremy; Ortel, Bernhard; Chirico, Stephanie; Shirazi, Azadeh; Syed, Sakeena; Muller, James E.

    2003-06-01

    Rupture of a vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque (VP) leading to coronary thrombosis is the chief cause of sudden cardiac death. VPs are angiographically insignificant lesions, which are excessively inflamed and characterized by dense macrophage infiltration, large necrotic lipid cores, thin fibrous caps, and paucity of smooth muscle cells. We have recently shown that chlorin(e6) conjugated with maleylated albumin can target macrophages with high selectivity via the scavenger receptor. We report the potential of this macrophage-targeted fluorescent probe to localize in VPs in a rabbit model of atherosclerosis, and allow detection and/or diagnosis by fluorescence spectroscopy or imaging. Atherosclerotic lesions were induced in New Zealand White rabbit aortas by balloon injury followed by administration of a high-fat diet. 24-hours after IV injection of the conjugate into atherosclerotic or normal rabbits, the animals were sacrificed, and aortas were removed, dissected and examined for fluorescence localization in plaques by fiber-based spectrofluorimetry and confocal microscopy. Dye uptake within the aortas was also quantified by fluorescence extraction of samples from aorta segments. Biodistribution of the dye was studied in many organs of the rabbits. Surface spectrofluorimetry after conjugate injection was able to distinguish between plaque and adjacent aorta, between atherosclerotic and normal aorta, and balloon-injured and normal iliac arteries with high significance. Discrete areas of high fluorescence (up to 20 times control were detected in the balloon-injured segments, presumably corresponding to macrophage-rich plaques. Confocal microscopy showed red ce6 fluorescence localized in plaques that showed abundant foam cells and macrophages by histology. Extraction data on aortic tissue corroborated the selectivity of the conjugate for plaques. These data support the strategy of employing macrophage-targeted fluorescent dyes to detect VP by intravascular

  18. Atherosclerotic plaque detection by confocal Brillouin and Raman microscopies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Zhaokai; Basagaoglu, Berkay; Yakovlev, Vladislav V.

    2015-02-01

    Atherosclerosis, the development of intraluminal plaque, is a fundamental pathology of cardiovascular system and remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Biomechanical in nature, plaque rupture occurs when the mechanical properties of the plaque, related to the morphology and viscoelastic properties, are compromised, resulting in intraluminal thrombosis and reduction of coronary blood flow. In this report, we describe the first simultaneous application of confocal Brillouin and Raman microscopies to ex-vivo aortic wall samples. Such a non-invasive, high specific approach allows revealing a direct relationship between the biochemical and mechanical properties of atherosclerotic tissue.

  19. Quantitative analysis of the polarization characteristics of atherosclerotic plaques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gubarkova, Ekaterina V.; Kirillin, Michail Y.; Dudenkova, Varvara V.; Kiseleva, Elena B.; Moiseev, Alexander A.; Gelikonov, Grigory V.; Timofeeva, Lidia B.; Fiks, Ilya I.; Feldchtein, Felix I.; Gladkova, Natalia D.

    2016-04-01

    In this study we demonstrate the capability of cross-polarization optical coherence tomography (CP OCT) to assess collagen and elastin fibers condition in atherosclerotic plaques basing on ratio of the OCT signal levels in cross- and co- polarizations. We consider the depolarization factor (DF) and the effective birefringence (Δn) as quantitative characteristics of CP OCT images. We revealed that calculation of both DF and Δn in the region of interest (fibrous cap) yields a statistically significant difference between stable and unstable plaques (0.46+/-0.21 vs 0.09+/-0.04 for IDF; (4.7+/-1.0)•10-4 vs (2.5+/-0.7)•10-4 for Δn p<0.05). In parallel with CP OCT we used the nonlinear microscopy for analysis of thin cross-section of atherosclerotic plaque, revealing the different average isotropy index of collagen and elastin fibers for stable and unstable plaques (0.30 +/- 0.10 vs 0.70 +/- 0.08; p<0.001). The proposed approach for quantitative assessment of CP OCT images allows cross-scattering and birefringence characterization of stable and unstable atherosclerotic plaques.

  20. Raised soluble P-selectin moderately accelerates atherosclerotic plaque progression.

    PubMed

    Woollard, Kevin J; Lumsden, Natalie G; Andrews, Karen L; Aprico, Andrea; Harris, Emma; Irvine, Jennifer C; Jefferis, Ann-maree; Fang, Lu; Kanellakis, Peter; Bobik, Alex; Chin-Dusting, Jaye P F

    2014-01-01

    Soluble P-selectin (sP-selectin), a biomarker of inflammatory related pathologies including cardiovascular and peripheral vascular diseases, also has pro-atherosclerotic effects including the ability to increase leukocyte recruitment and modulate thrombotic responses in vivo. The current study explores its role in progressing atherosclerotic plaque disease. Apoe-/- mice placed on a high fat diet (HFD) were given daily injections of recombinant dimeric murine P-selectin (22.5 µg/kg/day) for 8 or 16 weeks. Saline or sE-selectin injections were used as negative controls. In order to assess the role of sP-selectin on atherothrombosis an experimental plaque remodelling murine model, with sm22α-hDTR Apoe-/- mice on a HFD in conjunction with delivery of diphtheria toxin to induce targeted vascular smooth muscle apoptosis, was used. These mice were similarly given daily injections of sP-selectin for 8 or 16 weeks. While plaque mass and aortic lipid content did not change with sP-selectin treatment in Apoe-/- or SM22α-hDTR Apoe-/- mice on HFD, increased plasma MCP-1 and a higher plaque CD45 content in Apoe-/- HFD mice was observed. As well, a significant shift towards a more unstable plaque phenotype in the SM22α-hDTR Apoe-/- HFD mice, with increased macrophage accumulation and lower collagen content, leading to a lower plaque stability index, was observed. These results demonstrate that chronically raised sP-selectin favours progression of an unstable atherosclerotic plaque phenotype.

  1. Directional spatial frequency analysis of lipid distribution in atherosclerotic plaque

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korn, Clyde; Reese, Eric; Shi, Lingyan; Alfano, Robert; Russell, Stewart

    2016-04-01

    Atherosclerosis is characterized by the growth of fibrous plaques due to the retention of cholesterol and lipids within the artery wall, which can lead to vessel occlusion and cardiac events. One way to evaluate arterial disease is to quantify the amount of lipid present in these plaques, since a higher disease burden is characterized by a higher concentration of lipid. Although therapeutic stimulation of reverse cholesterol transport to reduce cholesterol deposits in plaque has not produced significant results, this may be due to current image analysis methods which use averaging techniques to calculate the total amount of lipid in the plaque without regard to spatial distribution, thereby discarding information that may have significance in marking response to therapy. Here we use Directional Fourier Spatial Frequency (DFSF) analysis to generate a characteristic spatial frequency spectrum for atherosclerotic plaques from C57 Black 6 mice both treated and untreated with a cholesterol scavenging nanoparticle. We then use the Cauchy product of these spectra to classify the images with a support vector machine (SVM). Our results indicate that treated plaque can be distinguished from untreated plaque using this method, where no difference is seen using the spatial averaging method. This work has the potential to increase the effectiveness of current in-vivo methods of plaque detection that also use averaging methods, such as laser speckle imaging and Raman spectroscopy.

  2. Laser speckle imaging of atherosclerotic plaques through optical fiber bundles.

    PubMed

    Nadkarni, Seemantini K; Bouma, Brett E; Yelin, Dvir; Gulati, Amneet; Tearney, Guillermo J

    2008-01-01

    Laser speckle imaging (LSI), a new technique that measures an index of plaque viscoelasticity, has been investigated recently to characterize atherosclerotic plaques. These prior studies demonstrated the diagnostic potential of LSI for detecting high-risk plaques and were conducted ex vivo. To conduct intracoronary LSI in vivo, the laser speckle pattern must be transmitted from the coronary wall to the image detector in the presence of cardiac motion. Small-diameter, flexible optical fiber bundles, similar to those used in coronary angioscopy, may be incorporated into an intravascular catheter for this purpose. A key challenge is that laser speckle is influenced by inter-fiber leakage of light, which may be exacerbated during bundle motion. In this study, we tested the capability of optical fiber bundles to transmit laser speckle patterns obtained from atherosclerotic plaques and evaluated the influence of motion on the diagnostic accuracy of fiber bundle-based LSI. Time-varying helium-neon laser speckle images of aortic plaques were obtained while cyclically moving the flexible length of the bundle to mimic coronary motion. Our results show that leached fiber bundles may reliably transmit laser speckle images in the presence of cardiac motion, providing a viable option to conduct intracoronary LSI. PMID:19021396

  3. Progression and regression of the atherosclerotic plaque.

    PubMed

    de Feyter, P J; Vos, J; Deckers, J W

    1995-08-01

    In animals in which atherosclerosis was induced experimentally (by a high cholesterol diet) regression of the atherosclerotic lesion was demonstrated after serum cholesterol was reduced by cholesterol- lowering drugs or a low-fat diet. Whether regression of advanced coronary arterly lesions also takes place in humans after a similar intervention remains conjectural. However, several randomized studies, primarily employing lipid-lowering intervention or comprehensive changes in lifestyle, have demonstrated, using serial angiograms, that it is possible to achieve less progression, arrest or even (small) regression of atherosclerotic lesions. The lipid-lowering trials (NHBLI, CLAS, POSCH, FATS, SCOR and STARS) studied 1240 symptomatic patients, mostly men, with moderately elevated cholesterol levels and moderately severe angiographic-proven coronary artery disease. A variety of lipid-lowering drugs, in addition to a diet, were used over an intervention period ranging from 2 to 3 years. In all but one study (NHBLI), the progression of coronary atherosclerosis was less in the treated group, but regression was induced in only a few patients. The overall relative risk of progression of coronary atherosclerosis was 0 x 62 and 2 x 13, respectively. The induced angiographic differences were small and did not produce any significant haemodynamic benefit. The most important result was tht the disease process could be stabilized in the majority of patients. Three comprehensive lifestyle change trials (the Lifestyle Heart study, STARS and the Heidelberg Study) studied 183 patients, who were subjected to stress management, and/or intensive exercise, in addition to a low fat diet, over a period ranging from 1 to 3 years. All three trials demonstrated less progression, and more regression with overall relative risks of 0 x 40 and 2 x 35 respectively, in the intervention groups. Angiographic trials demonstrated that retardation or arrest of coronary atherosclerosis was possible

  4. Imaging of the Fibrous Cap in Atherosclerotic Carotid Plaque

    SciTech Connect

    Saba, Luca; Potters, Fons; Lugt, Aad van der; Mallarini, Giorgio

    2010-08-15

    In the last two decades, a substantial number of articles have been published to provide diagnostic solutions for patients with carotid atherosclerotic disease. These articles have resulted in a shift of opinion regarding the identification of stroke risk in patients with carotid atherosclerotic disease. In the recent past, the degree of carotid artery stenosis was the sole determinant for performing carotid intervention (carotid endarterectomy or carotid stenting) in these patients. We now know that the degree of stenosis is only one marker for future cerebrovascular events. If one wants to determine the risk of these events more accurately, other parameters must be taken into account; among these parameters are plaque composition, presence and state of the fibrous cap (FC), intraplaque haemorrhage, plaque ulceration, and plaque location. In particular, the FC is an important structure for the stability of the plaque, and its rupture is highly associated with a recent history of transient ischaemic attack or stroke. The subject of this review is imaging of the FC.

  5. Zooming in on the genesis of atherosclerotic plaque microcalcifications.

    PubMed

    Ruiz, Jessica L; Weinbaum, Sheldon; Aikawa, Elena; Hutcheson, Joshua D

    2016-06-01

    Epidemiological evidence conclusively demonstrates that calcium burden is a significant predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality; however, the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. These observations have challenged the previously held notion that calcification serves to stabilize the atherosclerotic plaque. Recent studies have shown that microcalcifications that form within the fibrous cap of the plaques lead to the accrual of plaque-destabilizing mechanical stress. Given the association between calcification morphology and cardiovascular outcomes, it is important to understand the mechanisms leading to calcific mineral deposition and growth from the earliest stages. We highlight the open questions in the field of cardiovascular calcification and include a review of the proposed mechanisms involved in extracellular vesicle-mediated mineral deposition. PMID:27040360

  6. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy to Characterize Inflammatory Atherosclerotic Plaques

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Fei; Dai, Xiaohu; Beebe, Tyler; Hsiai, Tzung

    2011-01-01

    Despite advances in diagnosis and therapy, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the Western world. Predicting metabolically active atherosclerotic lesions has remained an unmet clinical need. We hereby developed an electrochemical strategy to characterize the inflammatory states of high-risk atherosclerotic plaques. Using the concentric bipolar microelectrodes, we sought to demonstrate distinct Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopic (EIS) measurements for unstable atherosclerotic plaques that harbored active lipids and inflammatory cells. Using equivalent circuits to simulate vessel impedance at the electrode-endoluminal tissue interface, we demonstrated specific electric elements to model working and counter electrode interfaces as well as the tissue impedance. Using explants of human coronary, carotid, and femoral arteries at various Stary stages of atherosclerotic lesions (n = 15), we performed endoluminal EIS measurements (n = 147) and validated with histology and immunohistochemistry. We computed the vascular tissue resistance using the equivalent circuit model and normalized the resistance to the lesion-free regions. Tissue resistance was significantly elevated in the oxLDL-rich thin-cap atheromas (1.57±0.40, n = 14, p < 0.001) and fatty streaks (1.36±0.28, n = 33, p < 0.001) as compared with lesion-free region (1.00±0.18, n = 82) or oxLDL-absent fibrous atheromas (0.86±0.30, n = 12). Tissue resistance was also elevated in the calcified core of fibrous atheroma (2.37±0.60, n = 6, p < 0.001). Despite presence of fibrous structures, tissue resistance between ox-LDL-absent fibroatheroma and the lesion-free regions was statistically insignificant (0.86±0.30, n = 12, p > 0.05). Hence, we demonstrate that the application of EIS strategy was sensitive to detect fibrous cap oxLDL-rich lesions and specific to distinguish oxLDL-absent fibroatheroma. PMID:21959227

  7. Low dose tunicamycin enhances atherosclerotic plaque stability by inducing autophagy.

    PubMed

    Ma, Meijuan; Song, Liqiang; Yan, Hao; Liu, Min; Zhang, Le; Ma, Ying; Yuan, Jian; Hu, Jianhua; Ji, Zhaole; Zhang, Rongqing; Li, Congye; Wang, Haichang; Tao, Ling; Zhang, Yingmei; Li, Yan

    2016-01-15

    After decades of indolent progression, atherosclerosis may cause unheralded events, such as myocardial infarction, acute coronary syndrome and stroke due to sudden rupture of atherosclerotic plaques, and pharmacologically modulating plaque stability would reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) is responsible for the vulnerability of plaques. However, the underlying mechanism has not been fully elucidated. In this work, ApoE(-/-) mice underwent perivascular carotid collar placement surgeries or sham operations were given higher (3.0mg/kg) and lower (0.3mg/kg) doses of tunicamycin (TM), and plaque stability was evaluated. It was shown that lower TM-treated animals exhibited reduced plaque areas and necrotic cores as well as fibrous cap thickness accompanied by a lower percentage of infiltrates and foam cells than the sham-operated and higher TM treated animals. Lower TM had a profound inhibitory effect on plasma inflammatory response and lipid profile in atherosclerotic ApoE(-/-) mice. In addition, we found that the ApoE(-/-) mice presented higher autophagy activity in response to lower TM administration while apoptosis was reduced. An in vitro study in murine macrophages revealed that lower TM could markedly reduce lipid uptake and accumulation and cell apoptosis while significantly upregulated the expression of Atg7. However, higher TM had adverse effects. Finally, mild induction of ERS by lower TM inhibits AKT-TSC-mTOR cascades to increase cellular autophagy. However, high TM failed to enhance autophagy and equilibrate elevated CHOP-mediated cell death in spite of the inhibition of AKT-TSC-mTOR signaling. In conclusion, lower TM stabilized plaques by activating autophagy through AKT-TSC-mTOR signaling. PMID:26616221

  8. Low dose tunicamycin enhances atherosclerotic plaque stability by inducing autophagy.

    PubMed

    Ma, Meijuan; Song, Liqiang; Yan, Hao; Liu, Min; Zhang, Le; Ma, Ying; Yuan, Jian; Hu, Jianhua; Ji, Zhaole; Zhang, Rongqing; Li, Congye; Wang, Haichang; Tao, Ling; Zhang, Yingmei; Li, Yan

    2016-01-15

    After decades of indolent progression, atherosclerosis may cause unheralded events, such as myocardial infarction, acute coronary syndrome and stroke due to sudden rupture of atherosclerotic plaques, and pharmacologically modulating plaque stability would reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) is responsible for the vulnerability of plaques. However, the underlying mechanism has not been fully elucidated. In this work, ApoE(-/-) mice underwent perivascular carotid collar placement surgeries or sham operations were given higher (3.0mg/kg) and lower (0.3mg/kg) doses of tunicamycin (TM), and plaque stability was evaluated. It was shown that lower TM-treated animals exhibited reduced plaque areas and necrotic cores as well as fibrous cap thickness accompanied by a lower percentage of infiltrates and foam cells than the sham-operated and higher TM treated animals. Lower TM had a profound inhibitory effect on plasma inflammatory response and lipid profile in atherosclerotic ApoE(-/-) mice. In addition, we found that the ApoE(-/-) mice presented higher autophagy activity in response to lower TM administration while apoptosis was reduced. An in vitro study in murine macrophages revealed that lower TM could markedly reduce lipid uptake and accumulation and cell apoptosis while significantly upregulated the expression of Atg7. However, higher TM had adverse effects. Finally, mild induction of ERS by lower TM inhibits AKT-TSC-mTOR cascades to increase cellular autophagy. However, high TM failed to enhance autophagy and equilibrate elevated CHOP-mediated cell death in spite of the inhibition of AKT-TSC-mTOR signaling. In conclusion, lower TM stabilized plaques by activating autophagy through AKT-TSC-mTOR signaling.

  9. Stationary and high-frequency pulsed electron paramagnetic resonance of a calcified atherosclerotic plaque

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdul'Yanov, V. A.; Galiullina, L. F.; Galyavich, A. S.; Izotov, V. G.; Mamin, G. V.; Orlinskii, S. B.; Rodionov, A. A.; Salakhov, M. Kh.; Silkin, N. I.; Sitdikova, L. M.; Khairullin, R. N.; Chelyshev, Yu. A.

    2008-09-01

    New possibilities of applying high-frequency electron paramagnetic resonance in medicine are demonstrated on an example of the investigation of a calcified atherosclerotic plaque. After the irradiation of the atherosclerotic plaque by x rays, a new type of paramagnetic centers—organomineral radicals—is detected. The spectral and relaxation characteristics of these radicals depend on the calcification degree of the atherosclerotic plaque and can be used for diagnostics.

  10. Multimodal spectroscopy detects features of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Šćepanović, Obrad R.; Fitzmaurice, Maryann; Miller, Arnold; Kong, Chae-Ryon; Volynskaya, Zoya; Dasari, Ramachandra R.; Kramer, John R.; Feld, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Early detection and treatment of rupture-prone vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques is critical to reducing patient mortality associated with cardiovascular disease. The combination of reflectance, fluorescence, and Raman spectroscopy-termed multimodal spectroscopy (MMS)-provides detailed biochemical information about tissue and can detect vulnerable plaque features: thin fibrous cap (TFC), necrotic core (NC), superficial foam cells (SFC), and thrombus. Ex vivo MMS spectra are collected from 12 patients that underwent carotid endarterectomy or femoral bypass surgery. Data are collected by means of a unitary MMS optical fiber probe and a portable clinical instrument. Blinded histopathological analysis is used to assess the vulnerability of each spectrally evaluated artery lesion. Modeling of the ex vivo MMS spectra produce objective parameters that correlate with the presence of vulnerable plaque features: TFC with fluorescence parameters indicative of collagen presence; NC/SFC with a combination of diffuse reflectance β-carotene/ceroid absorption and the Raman spectral signature of lipids; and thrombus with its Raman signature. Using these parameters, suspected vulnerable plaques can be detected with a sensitivity of 96% and specificity of 72%. These encouraging results warrant the continued development of MMS as a catheter-based clinical diagnostic technique for early detection of vulnerable plaques.

  11. Molecular Imaging of Vulnerable Atherosclerotic Plaques in Animal Models

    PubMed Central

    Gargiulo, Sara; Gramanzini, Matteo; Mancini, Marcello

    2016-01-01

    Atherosclerosis is characterized by intimal plaques of the arterial vessels that develop slowly and, in some cases, may undergo spontaneous rupture with subsequent heart attack or stroke. Currently, noninvasive diagnostic tools are inadequate to screen atherosclerotic lesions at high risk of acute complications. Therefore, the attention of the scientific community has been focused on the use of molecular imaging for identifying vulnerable plaques. Genetically engineered murine models such as ApoE−/− and ApoE−/−Fbn1C1039G+/− mice have been shown to be useful for testing new probes targeting biomarkers of relevant molecular processes for the characterization of vulnerable plaques, such as vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)-1, VEGFR-2, intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, P-selectin, and integrins, and for the potential development of translational tools to identify high-risk patients who could benefit from early therapeutic interventions. This review summarizes the main animal models of vulnerable plaques, with an emphasis on genetically altered mice, and the state-of-the-art preclinical molecular imaging strategies. PMID:27618031

  12. Variogram methods for texture classification of atherosclerotic plaque ultrasound images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeromin, Oliver M.; Pattichis, Marios S.; Pattichis, Constantinos; Kyriacou, Efthyvoulos; Nicolaides, Andrew

    2006-03-01

    Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the western world and the major cause of disability in adults. The type and stenosis of extracranial carotid artery disease is often responsible for ischemic strokes, transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) or amaurosis fugax (AF). The identification and grading of stenosis can be done using gray scale ultrasound scans. The appearance of B-scan pictures containing various granular structures makes the use of texture analysis techniques suitable for computer assisted tissue characterization purposes. The objective of this study is to investigate the usefulness of variogram analysis in the assessment of ultrasound plague morphology. The variogram estimates the variance of random fields, from arbitrary samples in space. We explore stationary random field models based on the variogram, which can be applied in ultrasound plaque imaging leading to a Computer Aided Diagnosis (CAD) system for the early detection of symptomatic atherosclerotic plaques. Non-parametric tests on the variogram coefficients show that the cofficients coming from symptomatic versus asymptomatic plaques come from distinct distributions. Furthermore, we show significant improvement in class separation, when a log point-transformation is applied to the images, prior to variogram estimation. Model fitting using least squares is explored for anisotropic variograms along specific directions. Comparative classification results, show that variogram coefficients can be used for the early detection of symptomatic cases, and also exhibit the largest class distances between symptomatic and asymptomatic plaque images, as compared to over 60 other texture features, used in the literature.

  13. Molecular Imaging of Vulnerable Atherosclerotic Plaques in Animal Models.

    PubMed

    Gargiulo, Sara; Gramanzini, Matteo; Mancini, Marcello

    2016-01-01

    Atherosclerosis is characterized by intimal plaques of the arterial vessels that develop slowly and, in some cases, may undergo spontaneous rupture with subsequent heart attack or stroke. Currently, noninvasive diagnostic tools are inadequate to screen atherosclerotic lesions at high risk of acute complications. Therefore, the attention of the scientific community has been focused on the use of molecular imaging for identifying vulnerable plaques. Genetically engineered murine models such as ApoE(-/-) and ApoE(-/-)Fbn1C1039G(+/-) mice have been shown to be useful for testing new probes targeting biomarkers of relevant molecular processes for the characterization of vulnerable plaques, such as vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)-1, VEGFR-2, intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, P-selectin, and integrins, and for the potential development of translational tools to identify high-risk patients who could benefit from early therapeutic interventions. This review summarizes the main animal models of vulnerable plaques, with an emphasis on genetically altered mice, and the state-of-the-art preclinical molecular imaging strategies. PMID:27618031

  14. Identification of Atherosclerotic Plaques in Carotid Artery by Fluorescence Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rocha, Rick; Villaverde, Antonio Balbin; Silveira, Landulfo; Costa, Maricília Silva; Alves, Leandro Procópio; Pasqualucci, Carlos Augusto; Brugnera, Aldo

    2008-04-01

    The aim of this work was to identify the presence of atherosclerotic plaques in carotid artery using the Fluorescence Spectroscopy. The most important pathogeny in the cardiovascular disorders is the atherosclerosis, which may affect even younger individuals. With approximately 1.2 million heart attacks and 750,000 strokes afflicting an aging American population each year, cardiovascular disease remains the number one cause of death. Carotid artery samples were obtained from the Autopsy Service at the University of São Paulo (São Paulo, SP, Brazil) taken from cadavers. After a histopathological analysis the 60 carotid artery samples were divided into two groups: normal (26) and atherosclerotic plaques (34). Samples were irradiated with the wavelength of 488 nm from an Argon laser. A 600 μm core optical fiber, coupled to the Argon laser, was used for excitation of the sample, whereas another 600 optical fiber, coupled to the spectrograph entrance slit, was used for collecting the fluorescence from the sample. Measurements were taken at different points on each sample and then averaged. Fluorescence spectra showed a single broad line centered at 549 nm. The fluorescence intensity for each sample was calculated by subtracting the intensity at the peak (550 nm) and at the bottom (510 nm) and then data were statistically analyzed, looking for differences between both groups of samples. ANOVA statistical test showed a significant difference (p<0,05) between both types of tissues, with regard to the fluorescence peak intensities. Our results indicate that this technique could be used to detect the presence of the atherosclerotic in carotid tissue.

  15. Characterization of atherosclerotic plaque-depositions by infrared, Raman and CARS microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matthäus, Christian; Bergner, Gero; Krafft, Christoph; Dietzek, Benjamin; Romeike, Bernd F. M.; Brehm, Bernhard R.; Popp, Jürgen

    2011-07-01

    Atherosclerotic plaques are mainly composed of proteoglycans, triglycerides, cholesterol, cholesterolester and crystalline calcium. From histopathological characterizations it is known that the composition of these atherosclerotic plaques can vary to a great extent, due to different risk factors as smoking, hyperlipedemia, or genetic background ect. The individual plaque components can be spectroscopically easily identified. Furthermore, spectroscopic imaging technologies offer the possibility to study the plaque compositions in a more quantitative manner than traditional staining techniques. Here, we compare the potential of IR, Raman and CARS microscopy to characterize the constitution of atherosclerotic plaques as well as the structure of the surrounding tissue. For data analysis and image reconstruction spectral decomposition algorithms such as vertex component analysis (VCA) were introduced. The results are in good agreement with the histopathology. Aim of the study is to correlate the compositional characteristics of atherosclerotic plaques with individual disease patterns.

  16. Murine atherosclerotic plaque imaging with the USPIO Ferumoxtran-10.

    PubMed

    Klug, Gert; Kampf, Thomas; Ziener, Christan; Parczyk, Marco; Bauer, Elizabeth; Herold, Volker; Rommel, Eberhard; Jakob, Peter Michael; Bauer, Wolfgang Rudolf

    2009-01-01

    In this study we intended to image plaque inflammation in a murine model of atherosclerosis with MRI and Ferumoxtran-10 (Sinerem, Guerbet, France). 8 apoE-/- mice were injected 500 micromol Fe/kg or 1000 micromol Fe/kg Ferumoxtran-10. 2 apoE-/- mice were injected NaCl. After a post-contrast time of 24 to 336 hours the mice were scarificed and the aortas were imaged ex vivo. All measurements were performed on a 17.6 Tesla Bruker AVANCE 750WB MR scanner (Bruker, Germany). Spin-echo sequences and gradient-echo sequences with variable TE were performed and T2* maps were generated. Prussian-blue and hematoxilin-eosin histology were obtained afterwards and iron-uptake was quantified by counting iron positive areas. 2 apoE-/- mice were imaged in vivo before and 48 hours after 1000 micromol Fe/kg. Atheroma iron uptake was not elevated after 24 hours compared to controls. 48 hours after 1000 micromol Fe/kg but not 500 micromol Fe/kg histology revealed a 1.3- fold increase in plaque iron content compared to NaCl injected mice. Normalized T2*-times decreased from 0.86+/-0.02 in controls to 0.66+/-0.15 after a dose of 500 micromol Fe/ml and 0.59+/-0.14 in mice injected with 1000 micromol Fe/Kg (p=0.038). These results translated into a mean of 122% increase in CNR, as measured by in vivo MRI. We have demonstrated that Ferumoxtran-10 is taken up by atherosclerotic plaques in untreated apoE-/- mice and this alters plaque signal properties.

  17. Optical detection of structural changes in human carotid atherosclerotic plaque

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korol, R. M.; Canham, P. B.; Finlay, H. M.; Hammond, R. R.; Quantz, M.; Ferguson, G. G.; Liu, L. Y.; Lucas, A. R.

    2005-08-01

    Background: Arterial bifurcations are commonly the sites of developing atherosclerotic plaque that lead to arterial occlusions and plaque rupture (myocardial infarctions and strokes). Laser induced fluorescence (LIF) spectroscopy provides an effective nondestructive method supplying spectral information on extracellular matrix (ECM) protein composition, specifically collagen and elastin. Purpose: To investigate regional differences in the ECM proteins -- collagen I, III and elastin in unstable plaque by analyzing data from laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy of human carotid endarterectomy specimens. Methods: Gels of ECM protein extracts (elastin, collagen types I & III) were measured as reference spectra and internal thoracic artery segments (extra tissue from bypass surgery) were used as tissue controls. Arterial segments and the endarterectomy specimens (n=21) were cut into 5mm cross-sectional rings. Ten fluorescence spectra per sampling area were then recorded at 5 sites per ring with argon laser excitation (357nm) with a penetration depth of 200 μm. Spectra were normalized to maximum intensity and analyzed using multiple regression analysis. Tissue rings were fixed in formalin (within 3 hours of surgery), sectioned and stained with H&E or Movat's Pentachrome for histological analysis. Spectroscopy data were correlated with immunohistology (staining for elastin, collagen types I, III and IV). Results: Quantitative fluorescence for the thoracic arteries revealed a dominant elastin component on the luminal side -- confirmed with immunohistology and known artery structure. Carotid endarterectomy specimens by comparison had a significant decrease in elastin signature and increased collagen type I and III. Arterial spectra were markedly different between the thoracic and carotid specimens. There was also a significant elevation (p<0.05) of collagen type I distal to the bifurcation compared to proximal tissue in the carotid specimens. Conclusion: Fluorescence

  18. miRNAs in atherosclerotic plaque initiation, progression, and rupture

    PubMed Central

    Andreou, Ioannis; Sun, Xinghui; Stone, Peter H.; Edelman, Elazer R.; Feinberg, Mark W.

    2015-01-01

    Atherosclerosis is a chronic immune-inflammatory disorder that integrates multiple cell types and a diverse set of inflammatory mediators. miRNAs are emerging as important post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression in most, if not all, vertebrate cells and constitute central players in many physiological and pathological processes. Rapidly accumulating experimental studies reveal their key role in cellular and molecular processes related to the development of atherosclerosis. Here, we review the current evidence for the involvement of miRNAs in early atherosclerotic lesion formation to plaque rupture and erosion. We conclude with a perspective on the clinical relevance, therapeutic opportunities, and future challenges of miRNA biology in the pathogenesis of this complex disease. PMID:25771097

  19. Antibody-Labeled Liposomes for CT Imaging of Atherosclerotic Plaques

    PubMed Central

    Danila, Delia; Partha, Ranga; Elrod, Don B.; Lackey, Melinda; Casscells, S. Ward; Conyers, Jodie L.

    2009-01-01

    We evaluated the specific binding of anti-intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) conjugated liposomes (immunoliposomes, or ILs) to activated human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAEC) with the purpose of designing a computed tomographic imaging agent for early detection of atherosclerotic plaques. Covalent attachment of anti-ICAM-1 monoclonal antibodies to pre-formed liposomes stabilized with polyethylene glycol yielded ILs, with a coupling efficiency of the ICAM-1 to the liposomes of 10% to 24%. The anti-ICAM-1–labeled ILs had an average diameter of 136 nm as determined by dynamic light-scattering and cryogenic electron microscopy. The ILs' encapsulation of 5-[N-acetyl-(2,3-dihydroxypropyl)-amino)-N, N′-bis(2,3-dihydroxypropyl)-2,4,6-triiodo-benzene-1,3-dicarboxamide (iohexol) was determined to be 18% to 19% by a dialysis technique coupled with ultraviolet detection of free iohexol. This encapsulation corresponded to 30 to 38 mg iodine per mL IL solution, and the ILs exhibited 91% to 98.5% iohexol retention at room temperature and under physiologic conditions. The specific binding of the ILs to cultured, activated HCAEC was measured using flow cytometry, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, and fluorescence microscopy. The immunosorbent assays demonstrated the specificity of binding of anti-ICAM-1 to ICAM-1 compared with control studies using nonspecific immunoglobulin G-labeled ILs. Flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy experiments demonstrated the expression of ICAM-1 on the surface of activated HCAEC. Therefore, our iohexol-filled ILs demonstrated potential for implementation in computed tomographic angiography to noninvasively detect atherosclerotic plaques that are prone to rupture. PMID:19876414

  20. Numerical observer for atherosclerotic plaque classification in spectral computed tomography.

    PubMed

    Lorsakul, Auranuch; Fakhri, Georges El; Worstell, William; Ouyang, Jinsong; Rakvongthai, Yothin; Laine, Andrew F; Li, Quanzheng

    2016-07-01

    Spectral computed tomography (SCT) generates better image quality than conventional computed tomography (CT). It has overcome several limitations for imaging atherosclerotic plaque. However, the literature evaluating the performance of SCT based on objective image assessment is very limited for the task of discriminating plaques. We developed a numerical-observer method and used it to assess performance on discrimination vulnerable-plaque features and compared the performance among multienergy CT (MECT), dual-energy CT (DECT), and conventional CT methods. Our numerical observer was designed to incorporate all spectral information and comprised two-processing stages. First, each energy-window domain was preprocessed by a set of localized channelized Hotelling observers (CHO). In this step, the spectral image in each energy bin was decorrelated using localized prewhitening and matched filtering with a set of Laguerre-Gaussian channel functions. Second, the series of the intermediate scores computed from all the CHOs were integrated by a Hotelling observer with an additional prewhitening and matched filter. The overall signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) were obtained, yielding an overall discrimination performance metric. The performance of our new observer was evaluated for the particular binary classification task of differentiating between alternative plaque characterizations in carotid arteries. A clinically realistic model of signal variability was also included in our simulation of the discrimination tasks. The inclusion of signal variation is a key to applying the proposed observer method to spectral CT data. Hence, the task-based approaches based on the signal-known-exactly/background-known-exactly (SKE/BKE) framework and the clinical-relevant signal-known-statistically/background-known-exactly (SKS/BKE) framework were applied for analytical computation of figures of merit (FOM). Simulated data of a

  1. Numerical observer for atherosclerotic plaque classification in spectral computed tomography.

    PubMed

    Lorsakul, Auranuch; Fakhri, Georges El; Worstell, William; Ouyang, Jinsong; Rakvongthai, Yothin; Laine, Andrew F; Li, Quanzheng

    2016-07-01

    Spectral computed tomography (SCT) generates better image quality than conventional computed tomography (CT). It has overcome several limitations for imaging atherosclerotic plaque. However, the literature evaluating the performance of SCT based on objective image assessment is very limited for the task of discriminating plaques. We developed a numerical-observer method and used it to assess performance on discrimination vulnerable-plaque features and compared the performance among multienergy CT (MECT), dual-energy CT (DECT), and conventional CT methods. Our numerical observer was designed to incorporate all spectral information and comprised two-processing stages. First, each energy-window domain was preprocessed by a set of localized channelized Hotelling observers (CHO). In this step, the spectral image in each energy bin was decorrelated using localized prewhitening and matched filtering with a set of Laguerre-Gaussian channel functions. Second, the series of the intermediate scores computed from all the CHOs were integrated by a Hotelling observer with an additional prewhitening and matched filter. The overall signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) were obtained, yielding an overall discrimination performance metric. The performance of our new observer was evaluated for the particular binary classification task of differentiating between alternative plaque characterizations in carotid arteries. A clinically realistic model of signal variability was also included in our simulation of the discrimination tasks. The inclusion of signal variation is a key to applying the proposed observer method to spectral CT data. Hence, the task-based approaches based on the signal-known-exactly/background-known-exactly (SKE/BKE) framework and the clinical-relevant signal-known-statistically/background-known-exactly (SKS/BKE) framework were applied for analytical computation of figures of merit (FOM). Simulated data of a

  2. Texture based segmentation method to detect atherosclerotic plaque from optical tomography images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prakash, Ammu; Hewko, Mark; Sowa, Michael; Sherif, Sherif

    2013-06-01

    Optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging has been widely employed in assessing cardiovascular disease. Atherosclerosis is one of the major cause cardio vascular diseases. However visual detection of atherosclerotic plaque from OCT images is often limited and further complicated by high frame rates. We developed a texture based segmentation method to automatically detect plaque and non plaque regions from OCT images. To verify our results we compared them to photographs of the vascular tissue with atherosclerotic plaque that we used to generate the OCT images. Our results show a close match with photographs of vascular tissue with atherosclerotic plaque. Our texture based segmentation method for plaque detection could be potentially used in clinical cardiovascular OCT imaging for plaque detection.

  3. Endothelial cells and macrophages, partners in atherosclerotic plaque progression.

    PubMed

    Antohe, Felicia

    2006-01-01

    Heart disease and stroke, the main cardiovascular diseases (CVD), have become global epidemics in our days. High levels of cholesterol and other abnormal lipids are among the main risk factors of atherosclerosis, the number one killer in the world. However, recent advances in CVD treatment together with improvements in surgical techniques have increased the quality of life and reduced premature death rates and disabilities. Nevertheless, they still add a heavy burden to the rising global costs of health care. The medical priorities highlight not only the need for early recognition of the warning signs of a heart attack, but also the need for early biomarkers for prevention. Two active partners in the development and progression of atherosclerotic plaques are the macrophages and endothelial cells that influence each other and modify the microenvironment composition of the plaque leading to either rapid progression or regression of individual lesions in patients. In this review we address two specific aspects related to atherosclerosis: i) the way in which folic acid and folic acid conjugates may be helpful to identify activated macrophages and ii) the high potential of proteomic analysis to evidence and identify the multiple changes induced in activated vascular cells. PMID:17178598

  4. Bifurcation analysis of a model for atherosclerotic plaque evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bulelzai, M. A. K.; Dubbeldam, J. L. A.; Meijer, H. G. E.

    2014-06-01

    We analyze two ordinary differential equation (ODE) models for atherosclerosis. The ODE models describe long time evolution of plaques in arteries. We show how the dynamics of the first atherosclerosis model (model A) can be understood using codimension-two bifurcation analysis. The Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) intake parameter (d) is the first control parameter and the second control parameter is either taken to be the conversion rate of macrophages (b) or the wall shear stress (σ). Our analysis reveals that in both cases a Bogdanov-Takens (BT) point acts as an organizing center. The bifurcation diagrams are calculated partly analytically and to a large extent numerically using AUTO07 and MATCONT. The bifurcation curves show that the concentration of LDL in the plaque as well as the monocyte and the macrophage concentrations exhibit oscillations for a certain range of values of the control parameters. Moreover, we find that there are threshold values for both the cholesterol intake rate dcrit and the conversion rate of the macrophages bcrit, which depend on the values of other parameters, above which the plaque volume increases with time. It is found that larger conversion rates of macrophages lower the threshold value of cholesterol intake and vice versa. We further argue that the dynamics for model A can still be discerned in the second model (model B) in which the slow evolution of the radius of the artery is coupled self-consistently to changes in the plaque volume. The very slow evolution of the radius of the artery compared to the other processes makes it possible to use a slow manifold approximation to study the dynamics in this case. We find that in this case the model predicts that the concentrations of the plaque constituents may go through a period of oscillations before the radius of the artery will start to decrease. These oscillations hence act as a precursor for the reduction of the artery radius by plaque growth.

  5. Genesis and growth of extracellular-vesicle-derived microcalcification in atherosclerotic plaques.

    PubMed

    Hutcheson, Joshua D; Goettsch, Claudia; Bertazzo, Sergio; Maldonado, Natalia; Ruiz, Jessica L; Goh, Wilson; Yabusaki, Katsumi; Faits, Tyler; Bouten, Carlijn; Franck, Gregory; Quillard, Thibaut; Libby, Peter; Aikawa, Masanori; Weinbaum, Sheldon; Aikawa, Elena

    2016-03-01

    Clinical evidence links arterial calcification and cardiovascular risk. Finite-element modelling of the stress distribution within atherosclerotic plaques has suggested that subcellular microcalcifications in the fibrous cap may promote material failure of the plaque, but that large calcifications can stabilize it. Yet the physicochemical mechanisms underlying such mineral formation and growth in atheromata remain unknown. Here, by using three-dimensional collagen hydrogels that mimic structural features of the atherosclerotic fibrous cap, and high-resolution microscopic and spectroscopic analyses of both the hydrogels and of calcified human plaques, we demonstrate that calcific mineral formation and maturation results from a series of events involving the aggregation of calcifying extracellular vesicles, and the formation of microcalcifications and ultimately large calcification areas. We also show that calcification morphology and the plaque's collagen content-two determinants of atherosclerotic plaque stability-are interlinked. PMID:26752654

  6. Chronic miR-29 antagonism promotes favorable plaque remodeling in atherosclerotic mice.

    PubMed

    Ulrich, Victoria; Rotllan, Noemi; Araldi, Elisa; Luciano, Amelia; Skroblin, Philipp; Abonnenc, Mélanie; Perrotta, Paola; Yin, Xiaoke; Bauer, Ashley; Leslie, Kristen L; Zhang, Pei; Aryal, Binod; Montgomery, Rusty L; Thum, Thomas; Martin, Kathleen; Suarez, Yajaira; Mayr, Manuel; Fernandez-Hernando, Carlos; Sessa, William C

    2016-01-01

    Abnormal remodeling of atherosclerotic plaques can lead to rupture, acute myocardial infarction, and death. Enhancement of plaque extracellular matrix (ECM) may improve plaque morphology and stabilize lesions. Here, we demonstrate that chronic administration of LNA-miR-29 into an atherosclerotic mouse model improves indices of plaque morphology. This occurs due to upregulation of miR-29 target genes of the ECM (col1A and col3A) resulting in reduced lesion size, enhanced fibrous cap thickness, and reduced necrotic zones. Sustained LNA-miR-29 treatment did not affect circulating lipids, blood chemistry, or ECM of solid organs including liver, lung, kidney, spleen, or heart. Collectively, these data support the idea that antagonizing miR-29 may promote beneficial plaque remodeling as an independent approach to stabilize vulnerable atherosclerotic lesions. PMID:27137489

  7. Mapping elasticity moduli of atherosclerotic plaque in situ via atomic force microscopy.

    PubMed

    Tracqui, Philippe; Broisat, Alexis; Toczek, Jackub; Mesnier, Nicolas; Ohayon, Jacques; Riou, Laurent

    2011-04-01

    Several studies have suggested that evolving mechanical stresses and strains drive atherosclerotic plaque development and vulnerability. Especially, stress distribution in the plaque fibrous capsule is an important determinant for the risk of vulnerable plaque rupture. Knowledge of the stiffness of atherosclerotic plaque components is therefore of critical importance. In this work, force mapping experiments using atomic force microscopy (AFM) were conducted in apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE(-/-)) mouse, which represents the most widely used experimental model for studying mechanisms underlying the development of atherosclerotic lesions. To obtain the elastic material properties of fibrous caps and lipidic cores of atherosclerotic plaques, serial cross-sections of aortic arch lesions were probed at different sites. Atherosclerotic plaque sub-structures were subdivided into cellular fibrotic, hypocellular fibrotic and lipidic rich areas according to histological staining. Hertz's contact mechanics were used to determine elasticity (Young's) moduli that were related to the underlying histological plaque structure. Cellular fibrotic regions exhibit a mean Young modulus of 10.4±5.7kPa. Hypocellular fibrous caps were almost six-times stiffer, with average modulus value of 59.4±47.4kPa, locally rising up to ∼250kPa. Lipid rich areas exhibit a rather large range of Young's moduli, with average value of 5.5±3.5kPa. Such precise quantification of plaque stiffness heterogeneity will allow investigators to have prospectively a better monitoring of atherosclerotic disease evolution, including arterial wall remodeling and plaque rupture, in response to mechanical constraints imposed by vascular shear stress and blood pressure.

  8. Specific imaging of atherosclerotic plaque lipids with two-wavelength intravascular photoacoustics

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Min; Jansen, Krista; van der Steen, Antonius F. W.; van Soest, Gijs

    2015-01-01

    The lipid content in plaques is an important marker for identifying atherosclerotic lesions and disease states. Intravascular photoacoustic (IVPA) imaging can be used to visualize lipids in the artery. In this study, we further investigated lipid detection in the 1.7-µm spectral range. By exploiting the relative difference between the IVPA signal strengths at 1718 and 1734 nm, we could successfully detect and differentiate between the plaque lipids and peri-adventitial fat in human coronary arteries ex vivo. Our study demonstrates that IVPA imaging can positively identify atherosclerotic plaques using only two wavelengths, which could enable rapid data acquisition in vivo. PMID:26417500

  9. Genesis and growth of extracellular-vesicle-derived microcalcification in atherosclerotic plaques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hutcheson, Joshua D.; Goettsch, Claudia; Bertazzo, Sergio; Maldonado, Natalia; Ruiz, Jessica L.; Goh, Wilson; Yabusaki, Katsumi; Faits, Tyler; Bouten, Carlijn; Franck, Gregory; Quillard, Thibaut; Libby, Peter; Aikawa, Masanori; Weinbaum, Sheldon; Aikawa, Elena

    2016-03-01

    Clinical evidence links arterial calcification and cardiovascular risk. Finite-element modelling of the stress distribution within atherosclerotic plaques has suggested that subcellular microcalcifications in the fibrous cap may promote material failure of the plaque, but that large calcifications can stabilize it. Yet the physicochemical mechanisms underlying such mineral formation and growth in atheromata remain unknown. Here, by using three-dimensional collagen hydrogels that mimic structural features of the atherosclerotic fibrous cap, and high-resolution microscopic and spectroscopic analyses of both the hydrogels and of calcified human plaques, we demonstrate that calcific mineral formation and maturation results from a series of events involving the aggregation of calcifying extracellular vesicles, and the formation of microcalcifications and ultimately large calcification areas. We also show that calcification morphology and the plaque’s collagen content--two determinants of atherosclerotic plaque stability--are interlinked.

  10. Genesis and growth of extracellular vesicle-derived microcalcification in atherosclerotic plaques

    PubMed Central

    Hutcheson, Joshua D.; Goettsch, Claudia; Bertazzo, Sergio; Maldonado, Natalia; Ruiz, Jessica L.; Goh, Wilson; Yabusaki, Katsumi; Faits, Tyler; Bouten, Carlijn; Franck, Gregory; Quillard, Thibaut; Libby, Peter; Aikawa, Masanori; Weinbaum, Sheldon; Aikawa, Elena

    2015-01-01

    Clinical evidence links arterial calcification and cardiovascular risk. Finite-element modelling of the stress distribution within atherosclerotic plaques has suggested that subcellular microcalcifications in the fibrous cap may promote material failure of the plaque, but that large calcifications can stabilize it. Yet the physicochemical mechanisms underlying such mineral formation and growth in atheromata remain unknown. Here, by using three-dimensional collagen hydrogels that mimic structural features of the atherosclerotic fibrous cap, and high-resolution microscopic and spectroscopic analyses of both the hydrogels and of calcified human plaques, we demonstrate that calcific mineral formation and maturation results from a series of events involving the aggregation of calcifying extracellular vesicles, and the formation of microcalcifications and ultimately large calcification zones. We also show that calcification morphology and the plaque’s collagen content – two determinants of atherosclerotic plaque stability - are interlinked. PMID:26752654

  11. [Changes in proinflammatory cytokine and destructive metalloproteinase levels during formation of unstable atherosclerotic plaque].

    PubMed

    Ragino, Iu I; Cherniavskiĭ, A M; Polonskaia, Ia V; Volkov, A M; Semaeva, E V; Tsymbal, S Iu; Voevoda, M I

    2009-01-01

    We studied men with coronary atherosclerosis without acute coronary syndrome and determined typical valuable parameters of inflammatory (tumor necrotic factor, antagonist of receptor to interleukin [IL] 1, IL 6, IL 8, monocytes chemotactic protein 1, endothelial monocytes activating protein II), and destructive (matrix metalloproteinase [MMP] 3, MMP 7, MMP 9, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase) processes at consecutive stages of formation of coronary atherosclerotic plaque: "normal intimal tissue --> lipid stain --> early stable plaque --> unstable vulnerable plaque <--> stable plaque with fibrosis", and in 3 types of unstable plaques (lipid type, inflammatory erosive type, necrotic type). PMID:19656094

  12. Bacterial Communities Associated with Atherosclerotic Plaques from Russian Individuals with Atherosclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Ziganshina, Elvira E.; Sharifullina, Dilyara M.; Lozhkin, Andrey P.; Khayrullin, Rustem N.; Ignatyev, Igor M.; Ziganshin, Ayrat M.

    2016-01-01

    Atherosclerosis is considered a chronic disease of the arterial wall and is the major cause of severe disease and death among individuals all over the world. Some recent studies have established the presence of bacteria in atherosclerotic plaque samples and suggested their possible contribution to the development of cardiovascular disease. The main objective of this preliminary pilot study was to better understand the bacterial diversity and abundance in human atherosclerotic plaques derived from common carotid arteries of individuals with atherosclerosis (Russian nationwide group) and contribute towards the further identification of a main group of atherosclerotic plaque bacteria by 454 pyrosequencing their 16S ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) genes. The applied approach enabled the detection of bacterial DNA in all atherosclerotic plaques. We found that distinct members of the order Burkholderiales were present at high levels in all atherosclerotic plaques obtained from patients with atherosclerosis with the genus Curvibacter being predominant in all plaque samples. Moreover, unclassified Burkholderiales as well as members of the genera Propionibacterium and Ralstonia were typically the most significant taxa for all atherosclerotic plaques. Other genera such as Burkholderia, Corynebacterium and Sediminibacterium as well as unclassified Comamonadaceae, Oxalobacteraceae, Rhodospirillaceae, Bradyrhizobiaceae and Burkholderiaceae were always found but at low relative abundances of the total 16S rRNA gene population derived from all samples. Also, we found that some bacteria found in plaque samples correlated with some clinical parameters, including total cholesterol, alanine aminotransferase and fibrinogen levels. Finally, our study indicates that some bacterial agents at least partially may be involved in affecting the development of cardiovascular disease through different mechanisms. PMID:27736997

  13. Ex vivo differential phase contrast and magnetic resonance imaging for characterization of human carotid atherosclerotic plaques.

    PubMed

    Meletta, Romana; Borel, Nicole; Stolzmann, Paul; Astolfo, Alberto; Klohs, Jan; Stampanoni, Marco; Rudin, Markus; Schibli, Roger; Krämer, Stefanie D; Herde, Adrienne Müller

    2015-10-01

    Non-invasive detection of specific atherosclerotic plaque components related to vulnerability is of high clinical relevance to prevent cerebrovascular events. The feasibility of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for characterization of plaque components was already demonstrated. We aimed to evaluate the potential of ex vivo differential phase contrast X-ray tomography (DPC) to accurately characterize human carotid plaque components in comparison to high field multicontrast MRI and histopathology. Two human plaque segments, obtained from carotid endarterectomy, classified according to criteria of the American Heart Association as stable and unstable plaque, were examined by ex vivo DPC tomography and multicontrast MRI (T1-, T2-, and proton density-weighted imaging, magnetization transfer contrast, diffusion-weighted imaging). To identify specific plaque components, the plaques were subsequently sectioned and stained for fibrous and cellular components, smooth muscle cells, hemosiderin, and fibrin. Histological data were then matched with DPC and MR images to define signal criteria for atherosclerotic plaque components. Characteristic structures, such as the lipid and necrotic core covered by a fibrous cap, calcification and hemosiderin deposits were delineated by histology and found with excellent sensitivity, resolution and accuracy in both imaging modalities. DPC tomography was superior to MRI regarding resolution and soft tissue contrast. Ex vivo DPC tomography allowed accurate identification of structures and components of atherosclerotic plaques at different lesion stages, in good correlation with histopathological findings.

  14. Low expression of ferroxidases is implicated in the iron retention in human atherosclerotic plaques.

    PubMed

    Ji, Jiajie; Zhou, Yu; Hao, Shuangying; Wang, Qi; Li, Kuanyu; Qiao, Tong

    2015-09-01

    The effect of iron on the progress of atherosclerosis is still controversial. To explore the relationship between atherosclerotic plaques and iron metabolism and how iron is accumulated in plaque macrophages, we performed Oil red O staining to detect the lipid of the atherosclerotic plaques, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to detect the intracellular lipids (total cholesterol, free cholesterol) and serum hepcidin, Western-blot to examine the iron-related proteins, immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence assays to localize ferroportin 1 in macrophages. The contents of serum iron and transferrin saturation were measured. The results confrimed that atherosclerotic plaques were all lipid-rich. Compared to normal vessel wall, atherosclerotic plaques had significantly higher levels of ferritin and ferroportin 1. Strikingly, we found the much lower levels of ferroxidases ceruloplasmin and hephaestin in plaque tissue than the normal vessel, while the content of serum hepcidin, iron and transferrin saturation were similar in these two groups. The novel finding suggests that the inability of ferrous iron to be oxidized into ferric iron might be a potential mechanism for iron retention in plaques. PMID:26208458

  15. Functionalization of gadolinium metallofullerenes for detecting atherosclerotic plaque lesions by cardiovascular magnetic resonance

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The hallmark of atherosclerosis is the accumulation of plaque in vessel walls. This process is initiated when monocytic cells differentiate into macrophage foam cells under conditions with high levels of atherogenic lipoproteins. Vulnerable plaque can dislodge, enter the blood stream, and result in acute myocardial infarction and stroke. Imaging techniques such as cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) provides one strategy to identify patients with plaque accumulation. Methods We synthesized an atherosclerotic-targeting contrast agent (ATCA) in which gadolinium (Gd)-containing endohedrals were functionalized and formulated into liposomes with CD36 ligands intercalated into the lipid bilayer. In vitro assays were used to assess the specificity of the ATCA for foam cells. The ability of ATCA to detect atherosclerotic plaque lesions in vivo was assessed using CMR. Results The ATCA was able to detect scavenger receptor (CD36)-expressing foam cells in vitro and were specifically internalized via the CD36 receptor as determined by focused ion beam/scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) and Western blotting analysis of CD36 receptor-specific signaling pathways. The ATCA exhibited time-dependent accumulation in atherosclerotic plaque lesions of ApoE −/− mice as determined using CMR. No ATCA accumulation was observed in vessels of wild type (C57/b6) controls. Non-targeted control compounds, without the plaque-targeting moieties, were not taken up by foam cells in vitro and did not bind plaque in vivo. Importantly, the ATCA injection was well tolerated, did not demonstrate toxicity in vitro or in vivo, and no accumulation was observed in the major organs. Conclusions The ATCA is specifically internalized by CD36 receptors on atherosclerotic plaque providing enhanced visualization of lesions under physiological conditions. These ATCA may provide new tools for physicians to non-invasively detect atherosclerotic disease. PMID:23324435

  16. Intravascular photoacoustic imaging of exogenously labeled atherosclerotic plaque through luminal blood

    PubMed Central

    Yeager, Doug; Karpiouk, Andrei; Wang, Bo; Amirian, James; Sokolov, Konstantin; Smalling, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Abstract. Combined intravascular ultrasound and intravascular photoacoustic (IVUS/IVPA) imaging has been previously established as a viable means for assessing atherosclerotic plaque morphological and compositional characteristics using both endogenous and exogenous contrast. In this study, IVUS/IVPA imaging of atherosclerotic rabbit aortas following systemic injection of gold nanorods (AUNRs) with peak absorbance within the tissue optical window is performed. Ex vivo imaging results reveal a high photoacoustic signal from localized AUNRs in regions with atherosclerotic plaques. Corresponding histological staining further confirms the preferential extravasation of AUNRs in atherosclerotic regions with compromised luminal endothelium and acute inflammation. The ability to detect AUNRs using combined IVUS and photoacoustic imaging in the presence of luminal saline and luminal blood is evaluated using both spectroscopic and single wavelength IVPA imaging techniques. Results demonstrate that AUNR detection within the arterial wall can be achieved using both methods, even in the case of imaging through luminal blood. PMID:23224013

  17. Primary Stenting for Complex Atherosclerotic Plaques in Aortic and Iliac Stenoses

    SciTech Connect

    Onal, Baran; Ilgit, Erhan T.; Yuecel, Cem; Ozbek, Erdal; Vural, Murat; Akpek, Sergin

    1998-09-15

    Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy of primary stenting for complex atherosclerotic plaques in aortic and iliac stenoses that are not amenable to balloon angioplasty alone. Methods: Nineteen patients with complex atherosclerotic plaques were treated with a Palmaz stent (n= 19), Wallstent (n= 1), Strecker stent (n= 1), or Memotherm stent (n= 1). A total of 22 stenoses presenting with complex plaque morphology including ulcerated plaques, ulcerated plaques with focal aneurysms, plaques with heavy calcification, severely eccentric plaques, plaques with overhanging edge, and plaques with spontaneous dissection were stented. The lesions were in the aorta (n= 1), common iliac artery (n= 19), or external iliac artery (n= 2). Results: Immediate angiography after stent placement revealed restoration of patency of the stented segment. Focal aneurysms and ulcerated areas were occluded in the follow-up angiographies obtained 4-12 weeks after the procedure. In one case with poor distal runoff and multiple complex lesions of the iliac artery, subacute occlusion occurred. Clinical and angiographic follow-up (3-46 months) revealed patency of all other stented segments. Conclusion: Primary stenting is an effective and reliable approach for complex plaques in stenoses. Patency of the arterial segment with a smooth lumen can be created without the risk of acute complications such as distal embolization, dissection, or occlusion.

  18. Leukocyte trafficking-associated vascular adhesion protein 1 is expressed and functionally active in atherosclerotic plaques

    PubMed Central

    Silvola, Johanna M. U.; Virtanen, Helena; Siitonen, Riikka; Hellberg, Sanna; Liljenbäck, Heidi; Metsälä, Olli; Ståhle, Mia; Saanijoki, Tiina; Käkelä, Meeri; Hakovirta, Harri; Ylä-Herttuala, Seppo; Saukko, Pekka; Jauhiainen, Matti; Veres, Tibor Z.; Jalkanen, Sirpa; Knuuti, Juhani; Saraste, Antti; Roivainen, Anne

    2016-01-01

    Given the important role of inflammation and the potential association of the leukocyte trafficking-associated adhesion molecule vascular adhesion protein 1 (VAP-1) with atherosclerosis, this study examined whether functional VAP-1 is expressed in atherosclerotic lesions and, if so, whether it could be targeted by positron emission tomography (PET). First, immunohistochemistry revealed that VAP-1 localized to endothelial cells of intra-plaque neovessels in human carotid endarterectomy samples from patients with recent ischemic symptoms. In low-density lipoprotein receptor-deficient mice expressing only apolipoprotein B100 (LDLR−/−ApoB100/100), VAP-1 was expressed on endothelial cells lining inflamed atherosclerotic lesions; normal vessel walls in aortas of C57BL/6N control mice were VAP-1-negative. Second, we discovered that the focal uptake of VAP-1 targeting sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectin 9 based PET tracer [68Ga]DOTA-Siglec-9 in atherosclerotic plaques was associated with the density of activated macrophages (r = 0.58, P = 0.022). As a final point, we found that the inhibition of VAP-1 activity with small molecule LJP1586 decreased the density of macrophages in inflamed atherosclerotic plaques in mice. Our results suggest for the first time VAP-1 as a potential imaging target for inflamed atherosclerotic plaques, and corroborate VAP-1 inhibition as a therapeutic approach in the treatment of atherosclerosis. PMID:27731409

  19. Characterization of atherosclerotic plaques by cross-polarization optical coherence tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gubarkova, Ekaterina V.; Dudenkova, Varvara V.; Feldchtein, Felix I.; Timofeeva, Lidia B.; Kiseleva, Elena B.; Kuznetsov, Sergei S.; Moiseev, Alexander A.; Gelikonov, Gregory V.; Vitkin, Alex I.; Gladkova, Natalia D.

    2016-02-01

    We combined cross-polarization optical coherence tomography (CP OCT) and non-linear microscopy based on second harmonic generation (SHG) and two-photon-excited fluorescence (2PEF) to assess collagen and elastin fibers in the development of the atherosclerotic plaque (AP). The study shows potential of CP OCT for the assessment of collagen and elastin fibers condition in atherosclerotic arteries. Specifically, the additional information afforded by CP OCT, related to birefringence and cross-scattering properties of arterial tissues, may improve the robustness and accuracy of assessment about the microstructure and composition of the plaque for different stages of atherosclerosis.

  20. Evaluation of the radiolabeled boronic acid-based FAP inhibitor MIP-1232 for atherosclerotic plaque imaging.

    PubMed

    Meletta, Romana; Müller Herde, Adrienne; Chiotellis, Aristeidis; Isa, Malsor; Rancic, Zoran; Borel, Nicole; Ametamey, Simon M; Krämer, Stefanie D; Schibli, Roger

    2015-01-01

    Research towards the non-invasive imaging of atherosclerotic plaques is of high clinical priority as early recognition of vulnerable plaques may reduce the incidence of cardiovascular events. The fibroblast activation protein alpha (FAP) was recently proposed as inflammation-induced protease involved in the process of plaque vulnerability. In this study, FAP mRNA and protein levels were investigated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry, respectively, in human endarterectomized carotid plaques. A published boronic-acid based FAP inhibitor, MIP-1232, was synthetized and radiolabeled with iodine-125. The potential of this radiotracer to image plaques was evaluated by in vitro autoradiography with human carotid plaques. Specificity was assessed with a xenograft with high and one with low FAP level, grown in mice. Target expression analyses revealed a moderately higher protein level in atherosclerotic plaques than normal arteries correlating with plaque vulnerability. No difference in expression was determined on mRNA level. The radiotracer was successfully produced and accumulated strongly in the FAP-positive SK-Mel-187 melanoma xenograft in vitro while accumulation was negligible in an NCI-H69 xenograft with low FAP levels. Binding of the tracer to endarterectomized tissue was similar in plaques and normal arteries, hampering its use for atherosclerosis imaging. PMID:25633335

  1. Insulin decreases atherosclerotic plaque burden and increases plaque stability via nitric oxide synthase in apolipoprotein E-null mice.

    PubMed

    Mori, Yusaku; Chiang, Simon; Bendeck, Michelle P; Giacca, Adria

    2016-08-01

    It has been argued whether insulin accelerates or prevents atherosclerosis. Although results from in vitro studies have been conflicting, recent in vivo mice studies demonstrated antiatherogenic effects of insulin. Insulin is a known activator of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (NOS), leading to increased production of NO, which has potent antiatherogenic effects. We aimed to examine the role of NOS in the protective effects of insulin against atherosclerosis. Male apolipoprotein E-null mice (8 wk old) fed a high-cholesterol diet (1.25% cholesterol) were assigned to the following 12-wk treatments: control, insulin (0.05 U/day via subcutaneous pellet), N(ω)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (l-NAME, via drinking water at 100 mg/l), and insulin plus l-NAME. Insulin reduced atherosclerotic plaque burden in the descending aorta by 42% compared with control (plaque area/aorta lumen area: control, 16.5 ± 1.9%; insulin, 9.6 ± 1.3%, P < 0.05). Although insulin did not decrease plaque burden in the aortic sinus, macrophage accumulation in the plaque was decreased by insulin. Furthermore, insulin increased smooth muscle actin and collagen content and decreased plaque necrosis, consistent with increased plaque stability. In addition, insulin treatment increased plasma NO levels, decreased inducible NOS staining, and tended to increase phosphorylated vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein staining in the plaques of the aortic sinus. All these effects of insulin were abolished by coadministration of l-NAME, whereas l-NAME alone showed no effect. Insulin also tended to increase phosphorylated endothelial NOS and total neuronal NOS staining, effects not modified by l-NAME. In conclusion, we demonstrate that insulin treatment decreases atherosclerotic plaque burden and increases plaque stability through NOS-dependent mechanisms. PMID:27221119

  2. Direct association between diet and the stability of human atherosclerotic plaque.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves, Isabel; Andersson Georgiadou, Elisavet; Mattsson, Sören; Skog, Göran; Pedro, Luís; Fernandes E Fernandes, José; Dias, Nuno; Engström, Gunnar; Nilsson, Jan; Stenström, Kristina

    2015-01-01

    Mediterranean diet has been suggested to explain why coronary heart disease mortality is lower in southern than northern Europe. Dietary habits can be revealed by isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) measurement of carbon (δ(13)C) and nitrogen (δ(15)N) in biological tissues. To study if diet is associated with human plaque stability, atherosclerotic plaques from carotid endarterectomy on 56 patients (21 Portuguese and 35 Swedish) were analysed by IRMS and histology. Plaque components affecting rupture risk were measured. Swedish plaques had more apoptosis, lipids and larger cores, as well as fewer proliferating cells and SMC than the Portuguese, conferring the Swedish a more rupture-prone phenotype. Portuguese plaques contained higher δ(13)C and δ(15)N than the Swedish, indicating that Portuguese plaques were more often derived from marine food. Plaque δ(13)C correlated with SMC and proliferating cells, and inversely with lipids, core size, apoptosis. Plaque δ(15)N correlated with SMC and inversely with lipids, core size and apoptosis. This is the first observational study showing that diet is reflected in plaque components associated with its vulnerability. The Portuguese plaques composition is consistent with an increased marine food intake and those plaques are more stable than those from Swedish patients. Marine-derived food is associated with plaque stability.

  3. Direct association between diet and the stability of human atherosclerotic plaque

    PubMed Central

    Gonçalves, Isabel; Andersson Georgiadou, Elisavet; Mattsson, Sören; Skog, Göran; Pedro, Luís; Fernandes e Fernandes, José; Dias, Nuno; Engström, Gunnar; Nilsson, Jan; Stenström, Kristina

    2015-01-01

    Mediterranean diet has been suggested to explain why coronary heart disease mortality is lower in southern than northern Europe. Dietary habits can be revealed by isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) measurement of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) in biological tissues. To study if diet is associated with human plaque stability, atherosclerotic plaques from carotid endarterectomy on 56 patients (21 Portuguese and 35 Swedish) were analysed by IRMS and histology. Plaque components affecting rupture risk were measured. Swedish plaques had more apoptosis, lipids and larger cores, as well as fewer proliferating cells and SMC than the Portuguese, conferring the Swedish a more rupture-prone phenotype. Portuguese plaques contained higher δ13C and δ15N than the Swedish, indicating that Portuguese plaques were more often derived from marine food. Plaque δ13C correlated with SMC and proliferating cells, and inversely with lipids, core size, apoptosis. Plaque δ15N correlated with SMC and inversely with lipids, core size and apoptosis. This is the first observational study showing that diet is reflected in plaque components associated with its vulnerability. The Portuguese plaques composition is consistent with an increased marine food intake and those plaques are more stable than those from Swedish patients. Marine-derived food is associated with plaque stability. PMID:26490319

  4. Stroke. Geometry is destiny for carotid atherosclerotic plaques.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Mark

    2011-01-01

    The geometry of carotid arteries, both normal and narrowed, produces flow characteristics that predict the location of atherosclerosis and the site of plaque rupture. A recent study has shown that the upstream carotid plaque undergoes profound biochemical and apoptotic changes that are closely linked to the development of stroke symptoms.

  5. The nature of iron deposits differs between symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid atherosclerotic plaques

    SciTech Connect

    Kopriva, David; Kisheev, Anastasye; Meena, Deiter; Pelle, Shaneen; Karnitsky, Max; Lavoie, Andrea; Buttigieg, Josef; Hagemeyer, Christoph E.

    2015-11-25

    Iron within atherosclerotic plaque has been implicated as a catalyst of oxidative stress that causes progression of plaque, and plaque rupture. Iron is believed to accumulate within plaque by incorporation of erythrocytes following plaque rupture and hemorrhage. There is only indirect evidence to support this hypothesis. Plaque specimens were obtained from ten symptomatic and fifteen asymptomatic patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy at a single institution. Plaques were sectioned for study using synchrotron radiation induced X-ray fluorescence the study the distribution of zinc, calcium and iron. Histologic staining was carried out with Prussian Blue, and immunohistochemical staining was done to localize macrophages with CD68. Data were compared against patient clinical variables. Ten symptomatic (15 ± 10 days between index symptoms and surgery) and fifteen asymptomatic carotid plaques were studied. Zinc and calcium co-localized in mineralized areas of symptomatic and asymptomatic plaque. Iron was identified away from zinc and calcium in both symptomatic and asymptomatic plaques. Within the symptomatic plaques, iron was found within the thrombus associated with plaque rupture and hemorrhage. It did not stain with Prussian Blue, but was found in association with CD68 positive macrophages. In symptomatic plaques, the abundance of iron showed an association with the source patient’s LDL cholesterol (R2 = 0.39, Significance F = 0.05). Iron in asymptomatic plaque was present as hemosiderin/ferritin that stained positive with Prussian Blue, and was observed in association with CD68 positive macrophages. Iron in acutely symptomatic plaques is found within thrombus, in the presence of macrophages. Moreover, the abundance of iron in symptomatic plaques is associated with the source patient’s LDL cholesterol. Within asymptomatic plaques, iron is found in association with macrophages, as hemosiderin/ferritin.

  6. The nature of iron deposits differs between symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid atherosclerotic plaques

    DOE PAGES

    Kopriva, David; Kisheev, Anastasye; Meena, Deiter; Pelle, Shaneen; Karnitsky, Max; Lavoie, Andrea; Buttigieg, Josef; Hagemeyer, Christoph E.

    2015-11-25

    Iron within atherosclerotic plaque has been implicated as a catalyst of oxidative stress that causes progression of plaque, and plaque rupture. Iron is believed to accumulate within plaque by incorporation of erythrocytes following plaque rupture and hemorrhage. There is only indirect evidence to support this hypothesis. Plaque specimens were obtained from ten symptomatic and fifteen asymptomatic patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy at a single institution. Plaques were sectioned for study using synchrotron radiation induced X-ray fluorescence the study the distribution of zinc, calcium and iron. Histologic staining was carried out with Prussian Blue, and immunohistochemical staining was done to localize macrophagesmore » with CD68. Data were compared against patient clinical variables. Ten symptomatic (15 ± 10 days between index symptoms and surgery) and fifteen asymptomatic carotid plaques were studied. Zinc and calcium co-localized in mineralized areas of symptomatic and asymptomatic plaque. Iron was identified away from zinc and calcium in both symptomatic and asymptomatic plaques. Within the symptomatic plaques, iron was found within the thrombus associated with plaque rupture and hemorrhage. It did not stain with Prussian Blue, but was found in association with CD68 positive macrophages. In symptomatic plaques, the abundance of iron showed an association with the source patient’s LDL cholesterol (R2 = 0.39, Significance F = 0.05). Iron in asymptomatic plaque was present as hemosiderin/ferritin that stained positive with Prussian Blue, and was observed in association with CD68 positive macrophages. Iron in acutely symptomatic plaques is found within thrombus, in the presence of macrophages. Moreover, the abundance of iron in symptomatic plaques is associated with the source patient’s LDL cholesterol. Within asymptomatic plaques, iron is found in association with macrophages, as hemosiderin/ferritin.« less

  7. The Nature of Iron Deposits Differs between Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Carotid Atherosclerotic Plaques

    PubMed Central

    Kopriva, David; Kisheev, Anastasye; Meena, Deiter; Pelle, Shaneen; Karnitsky, Max; Lavoie, Andrea; Buttigieg, Josef

    2015-01-01

    Iron within atherosclerotic plaque has been implicated as a catalyst of oxidative stress that causes progression of plaque, and plaque rupture. Iron is believed to accumulate within plaque by incorporation of erythrocytes following plaque rupture and hemorrhage. There is only indirect evidence to support this hypothesis. Plaque specimens were obtained from ten symptomatic and fifteen asymptomatic patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy at a single institution. Plaques were sectioned for study using synchrotron radiation induced X-ray fluorescence the study the distribution of zinc, calcium and iron. Histologic staining was carried out with Prussian Blue, and immunohistochemical staining was done to localize macrophages with CD68. Data were compared against patient clinical variables. Ten symptomatic (15 ± 10 days between index symptoms and surgery) and fifteen asymptomatic carotid plaques were studied. Zinc and calcium co-localized in mineralized areas of symptomatic and asymptomatic plaque. Iron was identified away from zinc and calcium in both symptomatic and asymptomatic plaques. Within the symptomatic plaques, iron was found within the thrombus associated with plaque rupture and hemorrhage. It did not stain with Prussian Blue, but was found in association with CD68 positive macrophages. In symptomatic plaques, the abundance of iron showed an association with the source patient’s LDL cholesterol (R2 = 0.39, Significance F = 0.05). Iron in asymptomatic plaque was present as hemosiderin/ferritin that stained positive with Prussian Blue, and was observed in association with CD68 positive macrophages. Iron in acutely symptomatic plaques is found within thrombus, in the presence of macrophages. The abundance of iron in symptomatic plaques is associated with the source patient’s LDL cholesterol. Within asymptomatic plaques, iron is found in association with macrophages, as hemosiderin/ferritin. PMID:26606178

  8. Live Observation of Atherosclerotic Plaque Disruption in Apolipoprotein E-Deficient Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Daeichin, V.; Sluimer, J. C.; van der Heiden, K.; Skachkov, I.; Kooiman, K.; Janssen, A.; Janssen, B.; Bosch, J. G.; de Jong, N.; Daemen, M. J. A. P.; van der Steen, A. F. W.

    2015-01-01

    Aim: The actual occurrence of spontaneous plaque rupture in mice has been a matter of debate. We report on an in vivo observation of the actual event of possible plaque disruption in a living ApoE-/- mouse. Methods and Results: During live contrast-enhanced ultrasonography of a 50-week-old ApoE-/- male mouse, symptoms suggesting plaque disruption in the brachiocephalic artery were observed. Histological analysis confirmed the presence of advanced atherosclerotic lesions with dissections and intraplaque hemorrhage in the affected brachiocephalic trunk, pointing towards plaque rupture as the cause of the observed event. However, we did not detect a luminal thrombus or cap rupture, which is a key criterion for plaque rupture in human atherosclerosis. Conclusion: This study reports the real-time occurrence of a possible plaque rupture in a living ApoE-/- mouse.

  9. Identification of atherosclerotic plaque components using cluster analysis of multispectral MR images: comparison with histology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarke, Sharon; Rutt, Brian K.; Lucas, Alexandra; Lownie, Stephen P.; Hammond, Robert; Mitchell, Ross

    2000-04-01

    The composition of atherosclerotic lesions in the carotid arteries is believed to be an important predictor of stroke risk. Several MR contrasts may be necessary to discriminate between different plaque components, and multispectral analysis can used to integrate the information obtained from these multiple contrasts. This study presents the use of registered MR and histological images of carotid endarterectomy specimens as a tool for the quantitative assessment of maximum likelihood classification and other segmentation algorithms. Carotid endarterectomy specimens were imaged in a 1.5T GE Signa scanner. PD, T1, T2, diffusion spin echo weightings were obtained. MR images were registered with digitized images of the corresponding histology. A pathologist identified regions of collagen, calcification, cholesterol, hemorrhage on the histological images. Training and ground truth regions were selected. The accuracy of the maximum likelihood classification was assessed on a pixel by pixel basis using truth regions identified on histological images. The accuracy of multispectral analysis was calcification (73%), fibrin (68%), cholesterol (62%), fibrous plaque (53%). This technique was limited by registration inaccuracies caused by partial volume effects and histological artifacts. Despite these limitations, accuracy results were reasonable. This technique, with continued improvements, provides a framework for evaluating the accuracy of different segmentation algorithms.

  10. Matrix metalloproteinase-2 of human carotid atherosclerotic plaques promotes platelet activation. Correlation with ischaemic events.

    PubMed

    Lenti, Massimo; Falcinelli, Emanuela; Pompili, Marcella; de Rango, Paola; Conti, Valentina; Guglielmini, Giuseppe; Momi, Stefania; Corazzi, Teresa; Giordano, Giuseppe; Gresele, Paolo

    2014-06-01

    Purified active matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) is able to promote platelet aggregation. We aimed to assess the role of MMP-2 expressed in atherosclerotic plaques in the platelet-activating potential of human carotid plaques and its correlation with ischaemic events. Carotid plaques from 81 patients undergoing endarterectomy were tested for pro-MMP-2 and TIMP-2 content by zymography and ELISA. Plaque extracts were incubated with gel-filtered platelets from healthy volunteers for 2 minutes before the addition of a subthreshold concentration of thrombin receptor activating peptide-6 (TRAP-6) and aggregation was assessed. Moreover, platelet deposition on plaque extracts immobilised on plastic coverslips under high shear-rate flow conditions was measured. Forty-three plaque extracts (53%) potentiated platelet aggregation (+233 ± 26.8%), an effect prevented by three different specific MMP-2 inhibitors (inhibitor II, TIMP-2, moAb anti-MMP-2). The pro-MMP-2/TIMP-2 ratio of plaques potentiating platelet aggregation was significantly higher than that of plaques not potentiating it (3.67 ± 1.21 vs 1.01 ± 0.43, p<0.05). Moreover, the platelet aggregation-potentiating effect, the active-MMP-2 content and the active MMP-2/pro-MMP-2 ratio of plaque extracts were significantly higher in plaques from patients who developed a subsequent major cardiovascular event. In conclusion, atherosclerotic plaques exert a prothrombotic effect by potentiating platelet activation due to their content of MMP-2; an elevated MMP-2 activity in plaques is associated with a higher rate of subsequent ischaemic cerebrovascular events. PMID:24499865

  11. Detection of Fungal Elements in Atherosclerotic Plaques Using Mycological, Pathological and Molecular Methods

    PubMed Central

    MASOUMI, Omid; SHAHZADI, Mahmoud; KORDBACHEH, Parivash; ZAINI, Farideh; MAHMOUDI, Shahram; MAHMOUDI, Mahmoud; BAHREINI, Hesamoddin; SAFARA, Mahin; MIRHENDI, Hossein

    2015-01-01

    Background: The aim of this study was to detect fungi in atherosclerotic plaques and investigate their possible role in atherosclerosis. Methods: Coronary atherosclerotic plaques specimen were obtained from patients with atherosclerosis. Direct examination, culture, histopathology study, PCR and sequencing were performed to detect/identify the mycotic elements in the plaques. Age, sex, smoking, obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, family history of heart diseases and diabetes were considered and data were analyzed using Chi Square test by SPSS version 15. Results: A total of 41 specimens were analyzed. Direct examination for fungal elements was negative in all cases but in culture only one specimen grew as a mold colony. The presence of fungal elements were confirmed in 6 and 2 tissue sections stained by Gomori methenamine silver and Hematoxylin and Eosin methods, respectively. Using PCR, 11 cases were positive for fungi. The DNA sequence analysis of six positive specimens which were randomly selected revealed fungi as Candida albicans (n=3), Candida guilliermondii (n=2) and Monilia sp. (n=1). Conclusion: A significant association between the presence of fungi in atherosclerotic plaques and severity of atherogenesis and atherosclerotic disease was not found. This could be due to limited numbers of patients included in our study. However, the presence of fungal elements in 26.8% of our specimens is considerable and the results does not exclude the correlation between the presence of fungi with atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. PMID:26587476

  12. Ultrafast optical-ultrasonic system and miniaturized catheter for imaging and characterizing atherosclerotic plaques in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jiawen; Ma, Teng; Mohar, Dilbahar; Steward, Earl; Yu, Mingyue; Piao, Zhonglie; He, Youmin; Shung, K. Kirk; Zhou, Qifa; Patel, Pranav M.; Chen, Zhongping

    2015-01-01

    Atherosclerotic coronary artery disease (CAD) is the number one cause of death worldwide. The majority of CAD-induced deaths are due to the rupture of vulnerable plaques. Accurate assessment of plaques is crucial to optimize treatment and prevent death in patients with CAD. Current diagnostic techniques are often limited by either spatial resolution or penetration depth. Several studies have proved that the combined use of optical and ultrasonic imaging techniques increase diagnostic accuracy of vulnerable plaques. Here, we introduce an ultrafast optical-ultrasonic dual-modality imaging system and flexible miniaturized catheter, which enables the translation of this technology into clinical practice. This system can perform simultaneous optical coherence tomography (OCT)-intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) imaging at 72 frames per second safely in vivo, i.e., visualizing a 72 mm-long artery in 4 seconds. Results obtained in atherosclerotic rabbits in vivo and human coronary artery segments show that this ultrafast technique can rapidly provide volumetric mapping of plaques and clearly identify vulnerable plaques. By providing ultrafast imaging of arteries with high resolution and deep penetration depth simultaneously, this hybrid IVUS-OCT technology opens new and safe opportunities to evaluate in real-time the risk posed by plaques, detect vulnerable plaques, and optimize treatment decisions. PMID:26678300

  13. Association between Human Plasma Chondroitin Sulfate Isomers and Carotid Atherosclerotic Plaques.

    PubMed

    Zinellu, Elisabetta; Lepedda, Antonio Junior; Cigliano, Antonio; Pisanu, Salvatore; Zinellu, Angelo; Carru, Ciriaco; Bacciu, Pietro Paolo; Piredda, Franco; Guarino, Anna; Spirito, Rita; Formato, Marilena

    2012-01-01

    Several studies have evidenced variations in plasma glycosaminoglycans content in physiological and pathological conditions. In normal human plasma GAGs are present mainly as undersulfated chondroitin sulfate (CS). The aim of the present study was to evaluate possible correlations between plasma CS level/structure and the presence/typology of carotid atherosclerotic lesion. Plasma CS was purified from 46 control subjects and 47 patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy showing either a soft or a hard plaque. The concentration and structural characteristics of plasma CS were assessed by capillary electrophoresis of constituent unsaturated fluorophore-labeled disaccharides. Results showed that the concentration of total CS isomers was increased by 21.4% (P < 0.01) in plasma of patients, due to a significant increase of undersulfated CS. Consequently, in patients the plasma CS charge density was significantly reduced with respect to that of controls. After sorting for plaque typology, we found that patients with soft plaques and those with hard ones differently contribute to the observed changes. In plasma from patients with soft plaques, the increase in CS content was not associated with modifications of its sulfation pattern. On the contrary, the presence of hard plaques was associated with CS sulfation pattern modifications in presence of quite normal total CS isomers levels. These results suggest that the plasma CS content and structure could be related to the presence and the typology of atherosclerotic plaque and could provide a useful diagnostic tool, as well as information on the molecular mechanisms responsible for plaque instability.

  14. Nanorose and lipid detection in atherosclerotic plaque using dual-wavelength photothermal wave imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Tianyi; Qiu, Jinze; Ma, Li Leo; Li, Xiankai; Sun, Jingjing; Ryoo, Seungyup; Johnston, Keith P.; Feldman, Marc D.; Milner, Thomas E.

    2010-02-01

    Atherosclerosis and specifically rupture of vulnerable plaques account for 23% of all deaths worldwide, far surpassing both infectious diseases and cancer. In atherosclerosis, macrophages can infiltrate plaques which are often associated with lipid deposits. Photothermal wave imaging is based on the periodic thermal modulation of a sample using intensity modulated light. Intensity modulated light enters the sample and is absorbed by targeted chromophores and generates a periodic thermal modulation. We report use of photothermal wave imaging to visualize nanoroses (taken up by macrophages via endocytosis) and lipids in atherosclerotic plaques. Two excitation wavelengths were selected to image nanoroses (800 nm) and lipids (1210 nm). Atherosclerotic plaque in a rabbit abdominal artery was irradiated (800 nm and 1210 nm separately) at a frequency of 4 Hz to generate photothermal waves. The radiometric temperature at the tissue surface was recorded by an infrared (IR) camera over a 10 second time period at the frame rate of 25.6 Hz. Extraction of images (256 × 256 pixels) at various frequencies was performed by Fourier transform at each pixel. Frequency amplitude images were obtained corresponding to 800 nm and 1210 nm laser irradiation. Computed images suggest that the distributions of both nanorose and lipid can be identified in amplitude images at a frequency of 4 Hz. Nanoroses taken up by macrophages are distributed at the edges of lipid deposits. Observation of high concentration of nanoroses in atherosclerotic plaque confirms that nanoroses are present at locations associated with lipid deposits.

  15. A statin-loaded reconstituted high-density lipoprotein nanoparticle inhibits atherosclerotic plaque inflammation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duivenvoorden, Raphaël; Tang, Jun; Cormode, David P.; Mieszawska, Aneta J.; Izquierdo-Garcia, David; Ozcan, Canturk; Otten, Maarten J.; Zaidi, Neeha; Lobatto, Mark E.; van Rijs, Sarian M.; Priem, Bram; Kuan, Emma L.; Martel, Catherine; Hewing, Bernd; Sager, Hendrik; Nahrendorf, Matthias; Randolph, Gwendalyn J.; Stroes, Erik S. G.; Fuster, Valentin; Fisher, Edward A.; Fayad, Zahi A.; Mulder, Willem J. M.

    2014-01-01

    Inflammation is a key feature of atherosclerosis and a target for therapy. Statins have potent anti-inflammatory properties but these cannot be fully exploited with oral statin therapy due to low systemic bioavailability. Here we present an injectable reconstituted high-density lipoprotein (rHDL) nanoparticle carrier vehicle that delivers statins to atherosclerotic plaques. We demonstrate the anti-inflammatory effect of statin-rHDL in vitro and show that this effect is mediated through the inhibition of the mevalonate pathway. We also apply statin-rHDL nanoparticles in vivo in an apolipoprotein E-knockout mouse model of atherosclerosis and show that they accumulate in atherosclerotic lesions in which they directly affect plaque macrophages. Finally, we demonstrate that a 3-month low-dose statin-rHDL treatment regimen inhibits plaque inflammation progression, while a 1-week high-dose regimen markedly decreases inflammation in advanced atherosclerotic plaques. Statin-rHDL represents a novel potent atherosclerosis nanotherapy that directly affects plaque inflammation.

  16. Aqueous extract of rhubarb stabilizes vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques due to depression of inflammation and lipid accumulation.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yunfang; Yan, Fangfang; Liu, Yan; Zhang, Cheng; Yu, Huiming; Zhang, Yun; Zhao, Yuxia

    2008-07-01

    The study evaluated the effect of the traditional Chinese medicine rhubarb on the stability of atherosclerotic plaque. Atherosclerotic lesions were induced in rabbits through balloon injury with a high-cholesterol diet and then were divided into a control group, a rhubarb group and a simvastatin group. At week 24 recombinant-p53 adenoviruses were locally delivered to the atherosclerotic plaques. At week 26 plaque rupture was triggered by the intra-arterial Chinese Russell's viper venom and histamine. Serological, ultrasonographic, pathologic, immunohistochemical and gene expression studies were performed. The results showed that the incidence of plaque rupture in the rhubarb group and the simvastatin group was significantly lower than that in the control group (42.86% and 35.71% versus 80.00%, both p < 0.05). Serum TC, LDL-C (p < 0.05-0.01), IMT (both p < 0.01), PA (both p < 0.01), PB (%) (both p < 0.01) and the mRNA and protein expressions of TLR2, TLR4 and NF-kappaB (p < 0.05, 0.01, respectively) in the rhubarb group and the simvastatin group were significantly lower than those in the control group. In contrast, AIIc% (both p < 0.05) in the two treatment groups were significantly higher than those in the control group. These results suggest that rhubarb has antiatherosclerotic and plaque-stabilizing properties due to antiinflammation and lipid-lowering effects.

  17. 3D MRI-based multicomponent FSI models for atherosclerotic plaques.

    PubMed

    Tang, Dalin; Yang, Chun; Zheng, Jie; Woodard, Pamela K; Sicard, Gregorio A; Saffitz, Jeffrey E; Yuan, Chun

    2004-07-01

    A three-dimensional (3D) MRI-based computational model with multicomponent plaque structure and fluid-structure interactions (FSI) is introduced to perform mechanical analysis for human atherosclerotic plaques and identify critical flow and stress/strain conditions which may be related to plaque rupture. Three-dimensional geometry of a human carotid plaque was reconstructed from 3D MR images and computational mesh was generated using Visualization Toolkit. Both the artery wall and the plaque components were assumed to be hyperelastic, isotropic, incompressible, and homogeneous. The flow was assumed to be laminar, Newtonian, viscous, and incompressible. The fully coupled fluid and structure models were solved by ADINA, a well-tested finite element package. Results from two-dimensional (2D) and 3D models, based on ex vivo MRI and histological images (HI), with different component sizes and plaque cap thickness, under different pressure and axial stretch conditions, were obtained and compared. Our results indicate that large lipid pools and thin plaque caps are associated with both extreme maximum (stretch) and minimum (compression when negative) stress/strain levels. Large cyclic stress/strain variations in the plaque under pulsating pressure were observed which may lead to artery fatigue and possible plaque rupture. Large-scale patient studies are needed to validate the computational findings for possible plaque vulnerability assessment and rupture predictions. PMID:15298432

  18. Chronic intermittent mental stress promotes atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability, myocardial infarction and sudden death in mice.

    PubMed

    Roth, Lynn; Rombouts, Miche; Schrijvers, Dorien M; Lemmens, Katrien; De Keulenaer, Gilles W; Martinet, Wim; De Meyer, Guido R Y

    2015-09-01

    Vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques are prone to plaque rupture leading to acute cardiovascular syndromes and death. Elucidating the risk of plaque rupture is important to define better therapeutic or preventive strategies. In the present study, we investigated the effect of chronic intermittent mental stress on atherosclerotic plaque stability and cardiovascular mortality in apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE(-/-)) mice with a heterozygous mutation in the fibrillin-1 gene (Fbn1(C1039G+/)(-)). This mouse model displays exacerbated atherosclerosis with spontaneous plaque ruptures, myocardial infarction and sudden death, when fed a Western-type diet (WD). Female ApoE(-/-)Fbn1(C1039G+/-) mice were fed a WD for up to 25 weeks. After 10 weeks WD, mice were divided in a control (n = 27) and mental stress (n = 29) group. The chronic intermittent mental stress protocol consisted of 3 triggers: water avoidance, damp bedding and restraint stress, in a randomly assigned order lasting 6 h every weekday for 15 weeks. Chronic intermittent mental stress resulted in a significant increase in the amount of macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques of the proximal ascending aorta, whereas type I collagen and fibrous cap thickness were decreased. The coronary arteries of mental stress-treated mice showed larger plaques, more stenosis, and an increased degree of perivascular fibrosis. Moreover, myocardial infarctions occurred more frequently in the mental stress group. As compared to the control group, the survival of stressed ApoE(-/-)Fbn1(C1039G+/-) mice decreased from 67% to 52% at 25 weeks WD, presumably due to myocardial infarctions. In conclusion, chronic intermittent mental stress promotes plaque instability, myocardial infarctions, and mortality of ApoE(-/-)Fbn1(C1039G+/-) mice. PMID:26233915

  19. Assessment of vulnerable and unstable carotid atherosclerotic plaques on endarterectomy specimens

    PubMed Central

    BUTCOVAN, DOINA; MOCANU, VERONICA; BARAN, DANA; CIURESCU, DIANA; TINICA, GRIGORE

    2016-01-01

    The types of lesion instability responsible for the majority of acute coronary events frequently include plaque disruption and plaque erosion with superimposed thrombosis. The term ‘vulnerable plaque is used to describe atherosclerotic (ATS) plaques that are particularly prone to rupture and susceptible to thrombus formation, such as the thin-cap fibroatheroma (TCFA). The aim of the present study was to assess the morphological and histological differences between plaques that are unstable and those that are vulnerable to instability. Carotid artery endarterectomy specimens were obtained from 26 patients with carotid artery stenosis, consisting of 20 men and 6 women (age range, 35–80 years). Histological and morphometric methods were used to visualize and characterize the ATS plaques. Among the 26 carotid ATS plaques, 23% were stable, 23% were unstable and 54% were vulnerable. With regard to morphometric characteristics, the following mean values were obtained for the TCFA and unstable plaques, respectively: Fibrous cap thickness, 21.91 and 11.66 µM; proportion of necrotic core area in the total plaque area, 25.90 and 22.03%; and the proportion of inflammatory area in the total plaque area, 8.41 and 3.04%. No plaque calcification was observed in any of them. Since ATS coronary artery disease is considerably widespread and fatal, it is crucial to further study ATS lesions to obtain an improved understanding of the nature of vulnerable and unstable plaques. The methods used to detect plaque size, necrotic core area and fibrous cap thickness are considered to be particularly useful for identifying vulnerable and unstable plaques. PMID:27168846

  20. Cystathionine γ-lyase is expressed in human atherosclerotic plaque microvessels and is involved in micro-angiogenesis

    PubMed Central

    van den Born, J. C.; Mencke, R.; Conroy, S.; Zeebregts, C. J.; van Goor, H.; Hillebrands, J. L.

    2016-01-01

    Atherosclerotic plaques are classically divided into stable and vulnerable plaques. Vulnerable plaques are prone to rupture with a risk for infarction. High intraplaque microvessel density predisposes to plaque vulnerability. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a proangiogenic gasotransmitter which is endogenously produced by cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE), and is believed to have vasculoprotective effects. However, due to its proangiogenic effects, H2S may result in pathological angiogenesis in atherosclerotic plaques, thereby increasing plaque vulnerability. The aim of this study was to determine CSE expression pattern in atherosclerotic plaques, and investigate whether CSE is involved in micro-angiogenesis in vitro. Endarterectomy plaques were studied for CSE expression, and the role of CSE in micro-angiogenesis was studied in vitro. CSE is expressed in plaques with similar levels in both stable and vulnerable plaques. CSE co-localized with von Willebrand Factor-positive microvessel endothelial cells and alpha-smooth-muscle actin-positive SMCs. In vitro, inhibition of CSE in HMEC-1 reduced tube formation, cell viability/proliferation, and migration which was restored after culture in the presence of H2S donor GYY4137. CSE is expressed in intraplaque microvessels, and H2S is a stimulator of micro-angiogenesis in vitro. Due to this pro-angiogenic effect, high levels of CSE in atherosclerotic plaques may be a potential risk for plaque vulnerability. PMID:27708362

  1. Mesenchymal Stem Cells Stabilize Atherosclerotic Vulnerable Plaque by Anti-Inflammatory Properties

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shuang-shuang; Hu, Si-wang; Zhang, Qing-hua; Xia, Ai-xiang

    2015-01-01

    Background and objectives Formation and progression of atherosclerotic vulnerable plaque (VP) is the primary cause of many cardio-cerebrovascular diseases such as acute coronary syndrome and stroke. It has been reported that bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) exhibit protective effects against many kinds of diseases including myocardial infarction. Here, we examined the effects of intravenous MSC infusion on a VP model and provide novel evidence of its influence as a therapy in this animal disease model. Subjects and methods Thirty healthy male New Zealand white rabbits were randomly divided into a MSC, VP or stable plaque (SP) group (n = 10/group) and received high fat diet and cold-induced common carotid artery intimal injury with liquid nitrogen to form atherosclerotic plaques. Serum hs-CRP, TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-10 levels were measured by ELISA at 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 21 and 28 days after MSC transplantation. The animals were sacrificed at 4 weeks after MSC transplantation. Lesions in the right common carotid were observed using H&E and Masson staining, and the fibrous cap/lipid core ratio of atherosclerotic plaques were calculated. The expression of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) and matrix metalloproteinase 1, 2, 9 (MMP-1,2,9) in the plaque were detected using immunohistochemistry, and apoptotic cells in the plaques were detected by TUNEL. In addition, the level of TNF-α stimulated gene/protein 6 (TSG-6) mRNA and protein were measured by quantitative Real-Time PCR and Western blotting, respectively. Results Two rabbits in the VP group died of lung infection and cerebral infarction respectively at 1 week after plaque injury by liquid nitrogen. Both H&E and Masson staining revealed that the plaques from the SP and MSC groups had more stable morphological structure and a larger fibrous cap/lipid core ratio than the VP group. Serum hs-CRP, TNF-α and IL-6 were significantly down-regulated, whereas IL-10 was significantly up-regulated in the MSC group compared with

  2. Safrole-2',3'-oxide induces atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability in apolipoprotein E-knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Su, Le; Zhang, Haiyan; Zhao, Jing; Zhang, Shangli; Zhang, Yun; Zhao, Baoxiang; Miao, Junying

    2013-02-27

    Safrole-2',3'-oxide (SFO) is the major electrophilic metabolite of safrole (4-allyl-1, 2-methylenedioxybenzene), a natural plant constituent found in essential oils of numerous edible herbs and spices and in food containing these herbs, such as pesto sauce, cola beverages and bologna sausages. The effects of SFO in mammalian systems, especially the cardiovascular system, are little known. Disruption of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques in atherosclerosis, a chronic inflammatory disease, is the main cause of cardiovascular events. In this study, we investigated SFO-induced atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability (possibility of rupture) in apolipoprotein E-knockout (apoE(-/-)) mice. Lipid area in vessel wall reached 59.8% in high dose SFO (SFO-HD) treated group, which is only 31.2% in control group. SFO treatment changed the lesion composition to an unstable phenotype, increased the number of apoptotic cells in plaque and the endothelium in plaques was damaged after SFO treatment. Furthermore, compared with control groups, the plaque endothelium level of p75(NTR) was 3-fold increased and the liver level of p75(NTR) was 17.4-fold increased by SFO-HD. Meanwhile, the serum level of KC (a functional homolog of IL-8 and the main proinflammatory alpha chemokine in mice) in apoE(-/-) mice was up to 357pg/ml in SFO-HD treated group. Thus, SFO contributes to the instability of atherosclerotic plaque in apoE(-/-) mice through activating p75(NTR) and IL-8 and cell apoptosis in plaque.

  3. Positron emission tomography of the vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque in man – a contemporary review

    PubMed Central

    Pedersen, Sune F; Hag, Anne Mette F; Klausen, Thomas L; Ripa, Rasmus S; Bodholdt, Rasmus P; Kjær, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Atherosclerosis is the primary underlying cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD). It is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the Western world today and is set to become the prevailing disease and major cause of death worldwide by 2020. In the 1950s surgical intervention was introduced to treat symptomatic patients with high-grade carotid artery stenosis due to atherosclerosis – a procedure known as carotid endarterectomy (CEA). By removing the atherosclerotic plaque from the affected carotid artery of these patients, CEA is beneficial by preventing subsequent ipsilateral ischemic stroke. However, it is known that patients with low to intermediate artery stenosis may still experience ischemic events, leading clinicians to consider plaque composition as an important feature of atherosclerosis. Today molecular imaging can be used for characterization, visualization and quantification of cellular and subcellular physiological processes as they take place in vivo; using this technology we can obtain valuable information on atherosclerostic plaque composition. Applying molecular imaging clinically to atherosclerotic disease therefore has the potential to identify atherosclerotic plaques vulnerable to rupture. This could prove to be an important tool for the selection of patients for CEA surgery in a health system increasingly focused on individualized treatment. This review focuses on current advances and future developments of in vivo atherosclerosis PET imaging in man. PMID:24289282

  4. Development of Advanced Atherosclerotic Plaque by Injection of Inflammatory Proteins in a Rabbit Iliac Artery Model

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jung-Sun; Lee, Seul-Gee; Oh, Jaewon; Park, Se-Il; Hong, Sung-Yu; Kim, Sehoon; Lee, Sang-Hak; Ko, Young-Guk; Choi, Donghoon; Hong, Myeong-Ki; Jang, Yangsoo

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Appropriate animal models of atherosclerotic plaque are crucial to investigating the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis, as well as for the evaluation of the efficacy and safety of vascular devices. We aimed to develop a novel animal model that would be suitable for the study of advanced atherosclerotic lesions in vivo. Materials and Methods Atherosclerotic plaque was induced in 24 iliac arteries from 12 rabbits by combining a high cholesterol diet, endothelial denudation, and injection into the vessel wall with either saline (n=5), olive oil (n=6), or inflammatory proteins [n=13, high-mobility group protein B1 (HMGB1) n=8 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α n=5] using a Cricket™ Micro-infusion catheter. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) was performed to detect plaque characteristics after 4 weeks, and all tissues were harvested for histological evaluation. Results Advanced plaque was more frequently observed in the group injected with inflammatory proteins. Macrophage infiltration was present to a higher degree in the HMGB1 and TNF-α groups, compared to the oil or saline group (82.1±5.1% and 94.6±2.2% compared to 49.6±14.0% and 46.5±9.6%, p-value<0.001), using RAM11 antibody staining. On OCT, lipid rich plaques were more frequently detected in the inflammatory protein group [saline group: 2/5 (40%), oil group: 3/5 (50%), HMGB1 group: 6/8 (75%), and TNF-α group: 5/5 (100%)]. Conclusion These data indicate that this rabbit model of atherosclerotic lesion formation via direct injection of pro-inflammatory proteins into the vessel wall is useful for in vivo studies investigating atherosclerosis. PMID:27401639

  5. Oral rapamycin inhibits growth of atherosclerotic plaque in apoE knock-out mice

    SciTech Connect

    Waksman, Ron; Pakala, Rajbabu; Burnett, Mary S.; Gulick, Cindy P.; Leborgne, Laurent; Fournadjiev, Jana; Wolfram, Roswitha; Hellinga, David

    2003-03-01

    Introduction: Inflammatory and immunological responses of vascular cells are known to play significant roles in atherosclerotic plaque development. Rapamycin with antiinflammatory, immunosuppressive and antiproliferative properties has been shown to reduce neointima formation when coated on stents. This study is designed to test the potential of oral rapamycin to inhibit atherosclerotic plaque development. Methods: Eight-week-old apoE knock-out mice were fed with 0.25% cholesterol supplemented diet (control diet), control diet containing 50 {mu}g/kg rapamycin (low-dose rapamycin) or 100 {mu}g/kg rapamycin (high-dose rapamycin) for 4 or 8 weeks. Subsets of mice from each group (n=10) were weighed and euthanized. Whole blood rapamycin levels were determined using HPLC-MS/MS, and histological analyses of atherosclerotic lesions in the aortic root were performed. Results: Mice fed with high-dose rapamycin did not gain weight (18.5{+-}1.5 vs. 20.6{+-}0.9 g, P=.01). Blood levels of rapamycin 117{+-}7 pg/ml were detected in the blood of mice fed with high-dose rapamycin for 8 weeks. The plaque area in mice fed with high dose oral rapamycin is significantly less as compared to control (0.168{+-}0.008 vs. 0.326{+-}0.013 mm{sup 2}, P=.001 at 4 weeks; 0.234{+-}0.013 vs. 0.447{+-}0.011 mm{sup 2}, P=.001 at 8 weeks). Lumen area was inversely proportional to the plaque area. Conclusions: The results indicate that oral rapamycin is effective in attenuating the progression of atherosclerotic plaque in the mice.

  6. Mucosal Administration of Collagen V Ameliorates the Atherosclerotic Plaque Burden by Inducing Interleukin 35-dependent Tolerance.

    PubMed

    Park, Arick C; Huang, Guorui; Jankowska-Gan, Ewa; Massoudi, Dawiyat; Kernien, John F; Vignali, Dario A; Sullivan, Jeremy A; Wilkes, David S; Burlingham, William J; Greenspan, Daniel S

    2016-02-12

    We have shown previously that collagen V (col(V)) autoimmunity is a consistent feature of atherosclerosis in human coronary artery disease and in the Apoe(-/-) mouse model. We have also shown sensitization of Apoe(-/-) mice with col(V) to markedly increase the atherosclerotic burden, providing evidence of a causative role for col(V) autoimmunity in atherosclerotic pathogenesis. Here we sought to determine whether induction of immune tolerance to col(V) might ameliorate atherosclerosis, providing further evidence for a causal role for col(V) autoimmunity in atherogenesis and providing insights into the potential for immunomodulatory therapeutic interventions. Mucosal inoculation successfully induced immune tolerance to col(V) with an accompanying reduction in plaque burden in Ldlr(-/-) mice on a high-cholesterol diet. The results therefore demonstrate that inoculation with col(V) can successfully ameliorate the atherosclerotic burden, suggesting novel approaches for therapeutic interventions. Surprisingly, tolerance and reduced atherosclerotic burden were both dependent on the recently described IL-35 and not on IL-10, the immunosuppressive cytokine usually studied in the context of induced tolerance and amelioration of atherosclerotic symptoms. In addition to the above, using recombinant protein fragments, we were able to localize two epitopes of the α1(V) chain involved in col(V) autoimmunity in atherosclerotic Ldlr(-/-) mice, suggesting future courses of experimentation for the characterization of such epitopes.

  7. Laser ablation of human atherosclerotic plaque without adjacent tissue injury

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grundfest, W. S.; Litvack, F.; Forrester, J. S.; Goldenberg, T.; Swan, H. J. C.

    1985-01-01

    Seventy samples of human cadaver atherosclerotic aorta were irradiated in vitro using a 308 nm xenon chloride excimer laser. Energy per pulse, pulse duration and frequency were varied. For comparison, 60 segments were also irradiated with an argon ion and an Nd:YAG laser operated in the continuous mode. Tissue was fixed in formalin, sectioned and examined microscopically. The Nd:YAG and argon ion-irradiated tissue exhibited a central crater with irregular edges and concentric zones of thermal and blast injury. In contrast, the excimer laser-irradiated tissue had narrow deep incisions with minimal or no thermal injury. These preliminary experiments indicate that the excimer laser vaporizes tissue in a manner different from that of the continuous wave Nd:YAG or argon ion laser. The sharp incision margins and minimal damage to adjacent normal tissue suggest that the excimer laser is more desirable for general surgical and intravascular uses than are the conventionally used medical lasers.

  8. Mechanical modeling of cholesterol crystallization in atherosclerotic plaques base on Micro-OCT images (Conference Presentation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Yuemei; Liu, Xinyu; Chen, Si; Cui, Dongyao; Wang, Xianghong; Liu, Linbo

    2016-02-01

    Plaque rupture is the critical cause of cardiovascular thrombosis but this process is still under discussion. Recent studies show that, during crystallization, cholesterol crystals in atheromatous plaques accumulate rapidly in a limited space and may result in plaque rupture. However, the actual role of cholesterol crystals on plaque rupture remains unclear due to the lack of detailed morphological information of cholesterol crystals. In this study, we used a Micro-optical coherence tomography (µOCT) setup with 1-2 µm spatial resolution to extract the geometry of cholesterol crystals from human atherosclerotic artery ex vivo firstly. With measured dimensions of cholesterol crystals by this µOCT system (the average length and thickness of 269.1±80.16 µm and 3.0±0.33 µm), we developed a two-dimensional mechanical model in which rectangular shaped cholesterol crystals distribute at different locations spatially. We predicted the stress on the thin cap induced by the expansion of cholesterol crystals by use of finite-element method. Since a large portion of plaques (58%) rupture at points of peak circumferential stress (PCS), we used PCS as the primary indicator of plaque stability with blood pressure of 14.6 kPa on the lumen. The results demonstrate that loading of the concentrated crystals especially at the cap shoulder destabilize the plaque by proportionally increasing the PCS, while evenly distributed crystals loading along the cap might impose less PCS to the plaque than the concentrated case.

  9. Divergent JAM-C Expression Accelerates Monocyte-Derived Cell Exit from Atherosclerotic Plaques

    PubMed Central

    Miljkovic-Licina, Marijana; Lee, Boris P.; Fischer, Nicolas; Fish, Richard J.; Kwak, Brenda; Fisher, Edward A.; Imhof, Beat A.

    2016-01-01

    Atherosclerosis, caused in part by monocytes in plaques, continues to be a disease that afflicts the modern world. Whilst significant steps have been made in treating this chronic inflammatory disease, questions remain on how to prevent monocyte and macrophage accumulation in atherosclerotic plaques. Junctional Adhesion Molecule C (JAM-C) expressed by vascular endothelium directs monocyte transendothelial migration in a unidirectional manner leading to increased inflammation. Here we show that interfering with JAM-C allows reverse-transendothelial migration of monocyte-derived cells, opening the way back out of the inflamed environment. To study the role of JAM-C in plaque regression we used a mouse model of atherosclerosis, and tested the impact of vascular JAM-C expression levels on monocyte reverse transendothelial migration using human cells. Studies in-vitro under inflammatory conditions revealed that overexpression or gene silencing of JAM-C in human endothelium exposed to flow resulted in higher rates of monocyte reverse-transendothelial migration, similar to antibody blockade. We then transplanted atherosclerotic, plaque-containing aortic arches from hyperlipidemic ApoE-/- mice into wild-type normolipidemic recipient mice. JAM-C blockade in the recipients induced greater emigration of monocyte-derived cells and further diminished the size of atherosclerotic plaques. Our findings have shown that JAM-C forms a one-way vascular barrier for leukocyte transendothelial migration only when present at homeostatic copy numbers. We have also shown that blocking JAM-C can reduce the number of atherogenic monocytes/macrophages in plaques by emigration, providing a novel therapeutic strategy for chronic inflammatory pathologies. PMID:27442505

  10. Thiocyanate supplementation decreases atherosclerotic plaque in mice expressing human myeloperoxidase.

    PubMed

    Morgan, P E; Laura, R P; Maki, R A; Reynolds, W F; Davies, M J

    2015-06-01

    Elevated levels of the heme enzyme myeloperoxidase (MPO) are associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes. MPO predominantly catalyzes formation of the oxidants hypochlorous acid (HOCl) from Cl(-), and hypothiocyanous acid (HOSCN) from SCN(-), with these anions acting as competitive substrates. HOSCN is a less powerful and more specific oxidant than HOCl, and selectively targets thiols; such damage is largely reversible, unlike much HOCl-induced damage. We hypothesized that increased plasma SCN(-), and hence HOSCN formation instead of HOCl, may decrease artery wall damage. This was examined using high-fat fed atherosclerosis-prone LDLR(-/-) mice transgenic for human MPO, with and without SCN(-) (10 mM) added to drinking water. Serum samples, collected fortnightly, were analyzed for cholesterol, triglycerides, thiols, MPO, and SCN(-); study-long exposure was calculated by area under the curve (AUC). Mean serum SCN(-) concentrations were elevated in the supplemented mice (200-320 μM) relative to controls (< 120 μM). Normalized aortic root plaque areas at sacrifice were 26% lower in the SCN(-)-supplemented mice compared with controls (P = 0.0417), but plaque morphology was not appreciably altered. Serum MPO levels steadily increased in mice on the high-fat diet, however, comparison of SCN(-)-supplemented versus control mice showed no significant changes in MPO protein, cholesterol, or triglyceride levels; thiol levels were decreased in supplemented mice at one time-point. Plaque areas increased with higher cholesterol AUC (r = 0.4742; P = 0.0468), and decreased with increasing SCN(-) AUC (r = - 0.5693; P = 0.0134). These data suggest that increased serum SCN(-) levels, which can be achieved in humans by dietary manipulation, may decrease atherosclerosis burden.

  11. Thiocyanate supplementation decreases atherosclerotic plaque in mice expressing human myeloperoxidase

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, P. E.; Laura, R. P.; Maki, R. A.; Reynolds, W. F.; Davies, M. J.

    2015-01-01

    Elevated levels of the heme enzyme myeloperoxidase (MPO) are associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes. MPO predominantly catalyzes formation of the oxidants hypochlorous acid (HOCl) from Cl−, and hypothiocyanous acid (HOSCN) from SCN−, with these anions acting as competitive substrates. HOSCN is a less powerful and more specific oxidant than HOCl, and selectively targets thiols; such damage is largely reversible, unlike much HOCl-induced damage. We hypothesized that increased plasma SCN−, and hence HOSCN formation instead of HOCl, may decrease artery wall damage. This was examined using high-fat fed atherosclerosis-prone LDLR−/− mice transgenic for human MPO, with and without SCN− (10 mM) added to drinking water. Serum samples, collected fortnightly, were analyzed for cholesterol, triglycerides, thiols, MPO and SCN−; study-long exposure was calculated by area under the curve (AUC). Mean serum SCN− concentrations were elevated in the supplemented mice (200-320 μM) relative to controls (<120 μM). Normalized aortic root plaque areas at sacrifice were 26% lower in the SCN−-supplemented mice compared to controls (P=0.0417), but plaque morphology was not appreciably altered. Serum MPO levels steadily increased in mice on the high-fat diet, however, comparison of SCN−- supplemented vs. control mice showed no significant changes in MPO protein, cholesterol or triglyceride levels; thiol levels were decreased in supplemented mice at one time-point. Plaque areas increased with higher cholesterol AUC (r=0.4742; P=0.0468), and decreased with increasing SCN− AUC (r=−0.5693; P=0.0134). These data suggest that increased serum SCN− levels, which can be achieved in humans by dietary manipulation, may decrease atherosclerosis burden. PMID:25812586

  12. Integrated IVUS-OCT Imaging for Atherosclerotic Plaque Characterization

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiang; Li, Jiawen; Jing, Joe; Ma, Teng; Liang, Shanshan; Zhang, Jun; Mohar, Dilbahar; Raney, Aidan; Mahon, Sari; Brenner, Matthew; Patel, Pranav; Shung, K. Kirk; Zhou, Qifa; Chen, Zhongping

    2014-01-01

    For the diagnosis of atherosclerosis, biomedical imaging techniques such as intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) have been developed. The combined use of IVUS and OCT is hypothesized to remarkably increase diagnostic accuracy of vulnerable plaques. We have developed an integrated IVUS-OCT imaging apparatus, which includes the integrated catheter, motor drive unit, and imaging system. The dual-function imaging catheter has the same diameter of current clinical standard. The imaging system is capable for simultaneous IVUS and OCT imaging in real time. Ex vivo and in vivo experiments on rabbits with atherosclerosis were conducted to demonstrate the feasibility and superiority of the integrated intravascular imaging modality. PMID:24771992

  13. Integrated IVUS-OCT Imaging for Atherosclerotic Plaque Characterization.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiang; Li, Jiawen; Jing, Joe; Ma, Teng; Liang, Shanshan; Zhang, Jun; Mohar, Dilbahar; Raney, Aidan; Mahon, Sari; Brenner, Matthew; Patel, Pranav; Shung, K Kirk; Zhou, Qifa; Chen, Zhongping

    2014-03-01

    For the diagnosis of atherosclerosis, biomedical imaging techniques such as intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) have been developed. The combined use of IVUS and OCT is hypothesized to remarkably increase diagnostic accuracy of vulnerable plaques. We have developed an integrated IVUS-OCT imaging apparatus, which includes the integrated catheter, motor drive unit, and imaging system. The dual-function imaging catheter has the same diameter of current clinical standard. The imaging system is capable for simultaneous IVUS and OCT imaging in real time. Ex vivo and in vivo experiments on rabbits with atherosclerosis were conducted to demonstrate the feasibility and superiority of the integrated intravascular imaging modality.

  14. TRAIL-expressing T cells induce apoptosis of vascular smooth muscle cells in the atherosclerotic plaque

    PubMed Central

    Sato, Kayoko; Niessner, Alexander; Kopecky, Stephen L.; Frye, Robert L.; Goronzy, Jörg J.; Weyand, Cornelia M.

    2006-01-01

    Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) are precipitated by a rupture of the atherosclerotic plaque, often at the site of T cell and macrophage infiltration. Here, we show that plaque-infiltrating CD4 T cells effectively kill vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). VSMCs sensitive to T cell–mediated killing express the death receptor DR5 (TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand [TRAIL] receptor 2), and anti-TRAIL and anti-DR5 antibodies block T cell–mediated apoptosis. CD4 T cells that express TRAIL upon stimulation are expanded in patients with ACS and more effectively induce VSMC apoptosis. Adoptive transfer of plaque-derived CD4 T cells into immunodeficient mice that are engrafted with human atherosclerotic plaque results in apoptosis of VSMCs, which was prevented by coadministration of anti-TRAIL antibody. These data identify that the death pathway is triggered by TRAIL-producing CD4 T cells as a direct mechanism of VSMC apoptosis, a process which may lead to plaque destabilization. PMID:16418392

  15. Red and black rice decrease atherosclerotic plaque formation and increase antioxidant status in rabbits.

    PubMed

    Ling, W H; Cheng, Q X; Ma, J; Wang, T

    2001-05-01

    The influence of white, red and black rice consumption on atherosclerotic plaque formation induced by hypercholesterolemia was investigated in rabbits. Male rabbits (n = 36) were divided into five groups. They were fed a normal laboratory purified diet (normal group, n = 6), a high cholesterol (0.5 g/100 g) diet (HC group, n = 6), a high cholesterol diet with 30 g/100 g white rice (WR group, n = 8), 30 g/100 g red rice (RR group, n = 8), or 30 g/100 g black rice (BR group, n = 8) for 10 wk. Blood samples were collected for lipid measurements and aorta were removed for assessment of atherosclerotic plaques at the end of the protocol. The oxidant and antioxidant status of blood, erythrocytes, liver and aorta was evaluated. The area of atherosclerotic plaque was 50% lower in rabbits fed the red or black rice diets than in those fed the white rice diet. Compared with the HC and WR groups, serum HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein (apo) A-I concentration were greater (P < 0.05) in the RR and BR groups. Liver reactive oxygen species (ROS) and aortic malondialdehyde (MDA) were significantly lower, and the liver total antioxidative capacity (TAC) and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity were significantly higher in the RR and BR groups compared with the HC and WR groups. Red or black rice consumption reduced or retarded the progression of atherosclerotic plaque development induced by dietary cholesterol. The enhanced serum HDL cholesterol and apo A-I concentrations, and the increased antioxidant and decreased oxidative status may be mechanisms of the antiatherogenic effect of red or black rice. PMID:11340093

  16. VCAM-1-targeting gold nanoshell probe for photoacoustic imaging of atherosclerotic plaque in mice.

    PubMed

    Rouleau, Leonie; Berti, Romain; Ng, Vanessa W K; Matteau-Pelletier, Carl; Lam, Tina; Saboural, Pierre; Kakkar, Ashok K; Lesage, Frédéric; Rhéaume, Eric; Tardif, Jean-Claude

    2013-01-01

    The development of molecular probes and novel imaging modalities, allowing better resolution and specificity, is associated with an increased potential for molecular imaging of atherosclerotic plaques especially in basic and pre-clinical research applications. In that context, a photoacoustic molecular probe based on gold nanoshells targeting VCAM-1 in mice (immunonanoshells) was designed. The molecular probe was validated in vitro and in vivo, showing no noticeable acute toxic effects. We performed the conjugation of gold nanoshells displaying near-infrared absorption properties with VCAM-1 antibody molecules and PEG to increase their biocompatibility. The resulting immunonanoshells obtained under different conditions of conjugation were then assessed for specificity and sensitivity. Photoacoustic tomography was performed to determine the ability to distinguish gold nanoshells from blood both in phantoms and in vivo. Ex vivo optical projection tomography of hearts and aortas from atherosclerotic and control mice confirmed the selective accumulation of the immunonanoshells in atherosclerotic-prone regions in mice, thus validating the utility of the probe in vivo in small animals for pre-clinical research. These immunonanoshells represent an adequate mean to target atherosclerotic plaques in small animals, leading to new tools to follow the effect of therapies on the progression or regression of the disease. PMID:23109390

  17. Automated tissue characterization of in vivo atherosclerotic plaques by intravascular optical coherence tomography images

    PubMed Central

    Ughi, Giovanni Jacopo; Adriaenssens, Tom; Sinnaeve, Peter; Desmet, Walter; D’hooge, Jan

    2013-01-01

    Intravascular optical coherence tomography (IVOCT) is rapidly becoming the method of choice for the in vivo investigation of coronary artery disease. While IVOCT visualizes atherosclerotic plaques with a resolution <20µm, image analysis in terms of tissue composition is currently performed by a time-consuming manual procedure based on the qualitative interpretation of image features. We illustrate an algorithm for the automated and systematic characterization of IVOCT atherosclerotic tissue. The proposed method consists in a supervised classification of image pixels according to textural features combined with the estimated value of the optical attenuation coefficient. IVOCT images of 64 plaques, from 49 in vivo IVOCT data sets, constituted the algorithm’s training and testing data sets. Validation was obtained by comparing automated analysis results to the manual assessment of atherosclerotic plaques. An overall pixel-wise accuracy of 81.5% with a classification feasibility of 76.5% and per-class accuracy of 89.5%, 72.1% and 79.5% for fibrotic, calcified and lipid-rich tissue respectively, was found. Moreover, measured optical properties were in agreement with previous results reported in literature. As such, an algorithm for automated tissue characterization was developed and validated using in vivo human data, suggesting that it can be applied to clinical IVOCT data. This might be an important step towards the integration of IVOCT in cardiovascular research and routine clinical practice. PMID:23847728

  18. [Inflammatory-destructive biomarkers of atherosclerotic plaques instability. Study of arterial wall and blood].

    PubMed

    Ragino, Iu I; Cherniavskiĭ, A M; Polonskaia, Ia V; Volkov, A M; Kashtanova, E V; Tsymbal, S Iu; Polovnikova, E M

    2012-01-01

    Concentrations of tumor necrosis factor, interleukin 1- and its receptor antagonist, IL-6, IL-8, IL-18, IL-2, ligand of CD40 receptor (CD40L), high sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP), monocyte chemotactic protein -1, endothelial monocyte activating protein II, adhesive molecules (sICAM-1 and sVCAM-1), matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-3, MMP-7, MMP-9), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP-1) and endothelin-1 were studied in blood and in coronary artery intima/media of men with coronary atherosclerosis without acute coronary syndrome. Blood levels of hsCRP, IL-8, IL-6 and CD40L were higher, while blood levels of sVCAM and TIMP-1 were lower in men with prevalence of unstable atherosclerotic plaques compared to men with prevalence of stable atherosclerotic plaques in coronary arteries. Blood levels of hsCRP, IL-6 and IL-8 correlated with characteristics of coronary artery atherosclerotic plaques instability. Correlation between hsCRP blood level and hsCRP concentration in coronary artery intima/media material was also revealed. PMID:22839584

  19. Detecting microcalcifications in atherosclerotic plaques by a simple trichromic staining method for epoxy embedded carotid endarterectomies

    PubMed Central

    Relucenti, M.; Heyn, R.; Petruzziello, L.; Pugliese, G.; Taurino, M.; Familiari, G.

    2010-01-01

    Atherosclerotic plaques have a high probability of undergoing rapid progression to stenosis, becoming responsible of acute coronary syndrome or stroke. Microcalcifications may act as enhancers of atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability. Considering that calcifications with a diameter smalller than 10 µm in paraffin embedded tissue are rather difficult to detect, our aim was to analyze microcalcifications on semithin sections from epoxy resin embedded samples of carotid endarterectomies using an original trichromic stain (methylene blue-azur B - basic fuchsine - alizarin red). We have compared samples stained either with our method, methylene blue-azur B alone or with Von Kossa staining, and methylene blue-azur B -basic fuchsine alone or with Von Kossa staining. Our method resulted to be simple and fast (ca. 2 min), it gives a sharp general contrast for all structures and allows to easy identify collagen and elastin. In addition, gray-green colour associated to intracellular lipid droplets evidences foam cells, which are particularly abundant in endarterectomies samples. Mast cells and their metachromatic granules are also well recognized. Calcifications over 0,5 µm are clearly recognizable. In conclusion, microcalcifications are clearly distinguished from the extracellular matrix in spite of their reduced dimensions. Methylene blue-azur B-basic fuchsine-alizarin red method is easy to use, reproducible, and is particularly suitable for the identification of microcalcifications in the morphological analysis of atherosclerotic plaques. PMID:20819772

  20. Increased Platelet Reactivity Is Associated with Circulating Platelet-Monocyte Complexes and Macrophages in Human Atherosclerotic Plaques

    PubMed Central

    Vrijenhoek, Joyce E. P.; van Holten, Thijs C.; Elsenberg, Ellen H. A. M.; Mak-Nienhuis, Elske M.; de Borst, Gert Jan; Jukema, J. Wouter; Pijls, Nico H. J.; Waltenberger, Johannes; van Zonneveld, Anton Jan; Moll, Frans L.; McClellan, Elizabeth; Stubbs, Andrew; Pasterkamp, Gerard; Hoefer, Imo; de Groot, Philip G.; Roest, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Objective Platelet reactivity, platelet binding to monocytes and monocyte infiltration play a detrimental role in atherosclerotic plaque progression. We investigated whether platelet reactivity was associated with levels of circulating platelet-monocyte complexes (PMCs) and macrophages in human atherosclerotic carotid plaques. Methods Platelet reactivity was determined by measuring platelet P-selectin expression after platelet stimulation with increasing concentrations of adenosine diphosphate (ADP), in two independent cohorts: the Circulating Cells cohort (n = 244) and the Athero-Express cohort (n = 91). Levels of PMCs were assessed by flow cytometry in blood samples of patients who were scheduled for percutaneous coronary intervention (Circulating Cells cohort). Monocyte infiltration was semi-quantitatively determined by histological examination of atherosclerotic carotid plaques collected during carotid endarterectomy (Athero-Express cohort). Results We found increased platelet reactivity in patients with high PMCs as compared to patients with low PMCs (median (interquartile range): 4153 (1585–11267) area under the curve (AUC) vs. 9633 (3580–21565) AUC, P<0.001). Also, we observed increased platelet reactivity in patients with high macrophage levels in atherosclerotic plaques as compared to patients with low macrophage levels in atherosclerotic plaques (mean±SD; 8969±3485 AUC vs. 7020±3442 AUC, P = 0.02). All associations remained significant after adjustment for age, sex and use of drugs against platelet activation. Conclusion Platelet reactivity towards ADP is associated with levels of PMCs and macrophages in human atherosclerotic carotid plaques. PMID:25122139

  1. Nonlinear registration of serial coronary CT angiography (CCTA) for assessment of changes in atherosclerotic plaque

    SciTech Connect

    Woo, Jonghye; Dey, Damini; Cheng, Victor Y.; Hong, Byung-Woo; Ramesh, Amit; Sundaramoorthi, Ganesh; Nakazato, Ryo; Berman, Daniel S.; Germano, Guido; Kuo, C.-C. Jay; Slomka, Piotr J.

    2010-02-15

    Purpose: Coronary CT angiography (CCTA) is a high-resolution three-dimensional imaging technique for the evaluation of coronary arteries in suspected or confirmed coronary artery disease (CAD). Coregistration of serial CCTA scans would allow precise superimposition of images obtained at two different points in time, which could aid in recognition of subtle changes and precise monitoring of coronary plaque progression or regression. To this end, the authors aimed at developing a fully automatic nonlinear volume coregistration for longitudinal CCTA scan pairs. Methods: The algorithm combines global displacement and local deformation using nonlinear volume coregistration with a volume-preserving constraint. Histogram matching of intensities between two serial scans is performed prior to nonlinear coregistration with dense nonparametric local deformation in which sum of squared differences is used as a similarity measure. The approximate segmentation of coronary arteries obtained from commercially available software provides initial anatomical landmarks for the coregistration algorithm that help localize and emphasize the structure of interest. To avoid possible bias caused by incorrect segmentation, the authors convolve the Gaussian kernel with the segmented binary coronary tree mask and define an extended weighted region of interest. A multiresolution approach is employed to represent coarse-to-fine details of both volumes and the energy function is optimized using a gradient descent method. The authors applied the algorithm in ten paired CCTA datasets (20 scans in total) obtained within 10.7{+-}5.7 months from each other on a dual source CT scanner to monitor progression of CAD. Results: Serial CCTA coregistration was successful in 9/10 cases as visually confirmed. The global displacement and local deformation of target registration error obtained from four anatomical landmarks were 2.22{+-}1.15 and 1.56{+-}0.74 mm, respectively, and the inverse consistency error of

  2. Application of IR and NIR fiber optic imaging in thermographic and spectroscopic diagnosis of atherosclerotic vulnerable plaques: preliminary experience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naghavi, Morteza; Khan, Tania; Gu, Bujin; Soller, Babs R.; Melling, Peter; Asif, Mohammed; Gul, Khawar; Madjid, Mohammad; Casscells, S. W.; Willerson, James T.

    2000-12-01

    Despite major advances in cardiovascular science and technology during the past three decades, approximately half of all myocardial infarctions and sudden deaths occur unexpectedly. It is widely accepted that coronary atherosclerotic plaques and thrombotic complications resulting from their rupture or erosion are the underlying causes of this major health problem. The majority of these vulnerable plaques exhibit active inflammation, a large necrotic lipid core, a thin fibrous cap, and confer a stenosis of less than 70%. These lesions are not detectable by stress testing or coronary angiography. Our group is exploring the possibility of a functional classification based on physiological variables such as plaque temperature, pH, oxygen consumption, lactate production etc. We have shown that heat accurately locates the inflamed plaques. We also demonstrated human atherosclerotic plaques are heterogeneous with regard to pH and hot plaques and are more likely to be acidic. To develop a nonsurgical method for locating the inflamed plaques, we are developing both IR fiber optic imaging and NIR spectroscopic systems in our laboratory to detect hot and acidic plaque in atherosclerotic arterial walls. Our findings introduce the possibility of an isolated/combined IR and NIR fiber optic catheter that can bring new insight into functional assessment of atherosclerotic plaque and thereby detection of active and inflamed lesions responsible for heart attacks and strokes.

  3. Angiopoietin-2 blocking antibodies reduce early atherosclerotic plaque development in mice

    PubMed Central

    Theelen, Thomas L.; Lappalainen, Jari P.; Sluimer, Judith C.; Gurzeler, Erika; Cleutjens, Jack P.; Gijbels, Marion J.; Biessen, Erik A.L.; Daemen, Mat J.A.P.; Alitalo, Kari; Ylä-Herttuala, Seppo

    2015-01-01

    Objective Angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) blocking agents are currently undergoing clinical trials for use in cancer treatment. Ang-2 has also been associated with rupture-prone atherosclerotic plaques in humans, suggesting a role for Ang-2 in plaque stability. Despite the availability of Ang-2 blocking agents, their clinical use is still lacking. Our aim was to establish if Ang-2 has a role in atheroma development and in the transition of subclinical to clinically relevant atherosclerosis. We investigated the effect of antibody-mediated Ang-2 blockage on atherogenesis after in a mouse model of atherosclerosis. Methods Hypercholesterolemic (low-density lipoprotein receptor−/− apolipoprotein B100/100) mice were subjected to high-cholesterol diet for eight weeks, one group with and one group without Ang-2 blocking antibody treatment during weeks 4–8.To enhance plaque development, a peri-adventitial collar was placed around the carotid arteries at the start of antibody treatment. Aortic root, carotid arteries and brachiocephalic arteries were analyzed to evaluate the effect of Ang-2 blockage on atherosclerotic plaque size and stable plaque characteristics. Results Anti-Ang-2 treatment reduced the size of fatty streaks in the brachiocephalic artery (−72%, p < 0.05). In addition, antibody-mediated Ang-2 blockage reduced plasma triglycerides (−27%, p < 0.05). In contrast, Ang-2 blockage did not have any effect on the size or composition (collagen content, macrophage percentage, adventitial microvessel density) of pre-existing plaques in the aortic root or collar-induced plaques in the carotid artery. Conclusions Ang-2 blockage was beneficial as it decreased fatty streak formation and plasma triglyceride levels, but had no adverse effect on pre-existing atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic mice. PMID:26062989

  4. Frequency Analysis of the Photoacoustic Signal Generated by Coronary Atherosclerotic Plaque.

    PubMed

    Daeichin, Verya; Wu, Min; De Jong, Nico; van der Steen, Antonius F W; van Soest, Gijs

    2016-08-01

    The identification of unstable atherosclerotic plaques in the coronary arteries is emerging as an important tool for guiding percutaneous coronary interventions and may enable preventive treatment of such plaques in the future. Assessment of plaque stability requires imaging of both structure and composition. Spectroscopic photoacoustic (sPA) imaging can visualize atherosclerotic plaque composition on the basis of the optical absorption contrast. It is an established fact that the frequency content of the photoacoustic (PA) signal is correlated with structural tissue properties. As PA signals can be weak, it is important to match the transducer bandwidth to the signal frequency content for in vivo imaging. In this ex vivo study on human coronary arteries, we combined sPA imaging and analysis of frequency content of the PA signals. Using a broadband transducer (-3-dB one-way bandwidth of 10-35 MHz) and a 1-mm needle hydrophone (calibrated for 1-20 MHz), we covered a large frequency range of 1-35 MHz for receiving the PA signals. Spectroscopic PA imaging was performed at wavelengths ranging from 1125 to 1275 nm with a step of 2 nm, allowing discrimination between plaque lipids and adventitial tissue. Under sPA imaging guidance, the frequency content of the PA signals from the plaque lipids was quantified. Our data indicate that more than 80% of the PA energy of the coronary plaque lipids lies in the frequency band below 8 MHz. This frequency information can guide the choice of the transducer element used for PA catheter fabrication.

  5. Differential expression of bone matrix regulatory proteins in human atherosclerotic plaques.

    PubMed

    Dhore, C R; Cleutjens, J P; Lutgens, E; Cleutjens, K B; Geusens, P P; Kitslaar, P J; Tordoir, J H; Spronk, H M; Vermeer, C; Daemen, M J

    2001-12-01

    In the present study, we examined the expression of regulators of bone formation and osteoclastogenesis in human atherosclerosis because accumulating evidence suggests that atherosclerotic calcification shares features with bone calcification. The most striking finding of this study was the constitutive immunoreactivity of matrix Gla protein, osteocalcin, and bone sialoprotein in nondiseased aortas and the absence of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2, BMP-4, osteopontin, and osteonectin in nondiseased aortas and early atherosclerotic lesions. When atherosclerotic plaques demonstrated calcification or bone formation, BMP-2, BMP-4, osteopontin, and osteonectin were upregulated. Interestingly, this upregulation was associated with a sustained immunoreactivity of matrix Gla protein, osteocalcin, and bone sialoprotein. The 2 modulators of osteoclastogenesis (osteoprotegerin [OPG] and its ligand, OPGL) were present in the nondiseased vessel wall and in early atherosclerotic lesions. In advanced calcified lesions, OPG was present in bone structures, whereas OPGL was only present in the extracellular matrix surrounding calcium deposits. The observed expression patterns suggest a tight regulation of the expression of bone matrix regulatory proteins during human atherogenesis. The expression pattern of both OPG and OPGL during atherogenesis might suggest a regulatory role of these proteins not only in osteoclastogenesis but also in atherosclerotic calcification. PMID:11742876

  6. Effects of the PPARγ agonist pioglitazone on coronary atherosclerotic plaque composition and plaque progression in non-diabetic patients: a double-center, randomized controlled VH-IVUS pilot-trial.

    PubMed

    Christoph, Marian; Herold, Joerg; Berg-Holldack, Anna; Rauwolf, Thomas; Ziemssen, Tjalf; Schmeisser, Alexander; Weinert, Sönke; Ebner, Bernd; Said, Samir; Strasser, Ruth H; Braun-Dullaeus, Ruediger C

    2015-05-01

    Despite the advanced therapy with statins, antithrombotics and antihypertensive agents, the medical treatment of coronary artery disease is less than optimal. Therefore, additional therapeutic anti-atherosclerotic options are desirable. This VH-IVUS study (intravascular ultrasonography with virtual histology) was performed to assess the potential anti-atherogenic effect of the PPARγ agonist pioglitazone in non-diabetic patients. A total of 86 non-culprit atherosclerotic lesions in 54 patients with acute coronary syndrome were observed in a 9-month prospective, double-blind, and placebo-controlled IVUS study. Patients were randomized to receive either 30 mg pioglitazone (Pio) or placebo (Plac). As primary efficacy parameter, the change of relative plaque content of necrotic core was determined by serial VH-IVUS analyses. Main secondary endpoint was the change of total plaque volume. In contrast to placebo, in the pioglitazone-treated group, the relative plaque content of necrotic core decreased significantly (Pio -1.3 ± 6.9% vs. Plac +2.6 ± 6.5%, p < 0.01). In comparison to the placebo group, the plaques in pioglitazone-treated patients showed significantly greater reduction of the total plaque volume (Pio -16.1 ± 26.4 mm3 vs. Plac -1.8 ± 30.9 mm3, p = 0.02). Treatment with a PPARγ agonist in non-diabetic patients results in a coronary artery plaque stabilization on top of usual medical care.

  7. IVUS-based histology of atherosclerotic plaques: improving longitudinal resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taki, Arash; Pauly, Olivier; Setarehdan, S. Kamaledin; Unal, Gozde; Navab, Nassir

    2010-03-01

    Although Virtual Histology (VH) is the in-vivo gold standard for atherosclerosis plaque characterization in IVUS images, it suffers from a poor longitudinal resolution due to ECG-gating. In this paper, we propose an image-based approach to overcome this limitation. Since each tissue have different echogenic characteristics, they show in IVUS images different local frequency components. By using Redundant Wavelet Packet Transform (RWPT), IVUS images are decomposed in multiple sub-band images. To encode the textural statistics of each resulting image, run-length features are extracted from the neighborhood centered on each pixel. To provide the best discrimination power according to these features, relevant sub-bands are selected by using Local Discriminant Bases (LDB) algorithm in combination with Fisher's criterion. A structure of weighted multi-class SVM permits the classification of the extracted feature vectors into three tissue classes, namely fibro-fatty, necrotic core and dense calcified tissues. Results shows the superiority of our approach with an overall accuracy of 72% in comparison to methods based on Local Binary Pattern and Co-occurrence, which respectively give accuracy rates of 70% and 71%.

  8. Automatic segmentation and plaque characterization in atherosclerotic carotid artery MR images.

    PubMed

    Adame, I M; van der Geest, R J; Wasserman, B A; Mohamed, M A; Reiber, J H C; Lelieveldt, B P F

    2004-04-01

    In vivo MRI provides a means to non-invasively image and assess the morphological features of atherosclerotic carotid arteries. To assess quantitatively the degree of vulnerability and the type of plaque, the contours of the lumen, outer boundary of the vessel wall and plaque components, need to be traced. Currently this is done manually, which is time-consuming and sensitive to inter- and intra-observer variability. The goal of this work was to develop an automated contour detection technique for tracing the lumen, outer boundary and plaque contours in carotid MR short-axis black-blood images. Seventeen patients with carotid atherosclerosis were imaged using high-resolution in vivo MRI, generating a total of 50 PD- and T1-weighted MR images. These images were automatically segmented using the algorithm presented in this work, which combines model-based segmentation and fuzzy clustering to detect the vessel wall, lumen and lipid core boundaries. The results demonstrate excellent correspondence between automatic and manual area measurements for lumen (r = 0.92) and outer (r = 0.91), and acceptable correspondence for fibrous cap thickness (r = 0.71). Though further optimization is required, our algorithm is a powerful tool for automatic detection of lumen and outer boundaries, and characterization of plaque in atherosclerotic vessels. PMID:15029508

  9. Endothelial to mesenchymal transition is common in atherosclerotic lesions and is associated with plaque instability.

    PubMed

    Evrard, Solene M; Lecce, Laura; Michelis, Katherine C; Nomura-Kitabayashi, Aya; Pandey, Gaurav; Purushothaman, K-Raman; d'Escamard, Valentina; Li, Jennifer R; Hadri, Lahouaria; Fujitani, Kenji; Moreno, Pedro R; Benard, Ludovic; Rimmele, Pauline; Cohain, Ariella; Mecham, Brigham; Randolph, Gwendalyn J; Nabel, Elizabeth G; Hajjar, Roger; Fuster, Valentin; Boehm, Manfred; Kovacic, Jason C

    2016-06-24

    Endothelial to mesenchymal transition (EndMT) plays a major role during development, and also contributes to several adult cardiovascular diseases. Importantly, mesenchymal cells including fibroblasts are prominent in atherosclerosis, with key functions including regulation of: inflammation, matrix and collagen production, and plaque structural integrity. However, little is known about the origins of atherosclerosis-associated fibroblasts. Here we show using endothelial-specific lineage-tracking that EndMT-derived fibroblast-like cells are common in atherosclerotic lesions, with EndMT-derived cells expressing a range of fibroblast-specific markers. In vitro modelling confirms that EndMT is driven by TGF-β signalling, oxidative stress and hypoxia; all hallmarks of atherosclerosis. 'Transitioning' cells are readily detected in human plaques co-expressing endothelial and fibroblast/mesenchymal proteins, indicative of EndMT. The extent of EndMT correlates with an unstable plaque phenotype, which appears driven by altered collagen-MMP production in EndMT-derived cells. We conclude that EndMT contributes to atherosclerotic patho-biology and is associated with complex plaques that may be related to clinical events.

  10. Endothelial to mesenchymal transition is common in atherosclerotic lesions and is associated with plaque instability

    PubMed Central

    Evrard, Solene M.; Lecce, Laura; Michelis, Katherine C.; Nomura-Kitabayashi, Aya; Pandey, Gaurav; Purushothaman, K-Raman; d'Escamard, Valentina; Li, Jennifer R.; Hadri, Lahouaria; Fujitani, Kenji; Moreno, Pedro R.; Benard, Ludovic; Rimmele, Pauline; Cohain, Ariella; Mecham, Brigham; Randolph, Gwendalyn J.; Nabel, Elizabeth G.; Hajjar, Roger; Fuster, Valentin; Boehm, Manfred; Kovacic, Jason C.

    2016-01-01

    Endothelial to mesenchymal transition (EndMT) plays a major role during development, and also contributes to several adult cardiovascular diseases. Importantly, mesenchymal cells including fibroblasts are prominent in atherosclerosis, with key functions including regulation of: inflammation, matrix and collagen production, and plaque structural integrity. However, little is known about the origins of atherosclerosis-associated fibroblasts. Here we show using endothelial-specific lineage-tracking that EndMT-derived fibroblast-like cells are common in atherosclerotic lesions, with EndMT-derived cells expressing a range of fibroblast-specific markers. In vitro modelling confirms that EndMT is driven by TGF-β signalling, oxidative stress and hypoxia; all hallmarks of atherosclerosis. ‘Transitioning' cells are readily detected in human plaques co-expressing endothelial and fibroblast/mesenchymal proteins, indicative of EndMT. The extent of EndMT correlates with an unstable plaque phenotype, which appears driven by altered collagen-MMP production in EndMT-derived cells. We conclude that EndMT contributes to atherosclerotic patho-biology and is associated with complex plaques that may be related to clinical events. PMID:27340017

  11. Texture characterization of carotid atherosclerotic plaque from B-mode ultrasound using gabor filters.

    PubMed

    Stoitsis, John; Golemati, Spyretta; Tsiaparas, Nikolaos; Nikita, Konstantina S

    2009-01-01

    Texture analysis of B-mode ultrasound images of carotid atheromatous plaque can be valuable for the accurate diagnosis of atherosclerosis. In this paper, Gabor filters were used to characterize the texture of carotid artery atherosclerotic tissue. B-mode ultrasound images of 10 symptomatic and 9 asymptomatic plaques were interrogated. A total of 40 texture features were estimated for each plaque. The bootstrap method was used to compare the mean values of the texture features extracted from the two groups. After bootstrapping, the mean value and the standard deviation of the energy estimated using the Gabor filters was found to be significantly different between symptomatic and asymptomatic plaques in the first scale of analysis and for all orientations. In addition, a number of texture features that correspond to larger resolution scales were found to be significantly different between the two types of plaques. It is concluded that Gabor-filter-based texture analysis in combination with a powerful statistical technique, such as bootstrapping, may provide valuable information about the plaque tissue type.

  12. Alternation of histone and DNA methylation in human atherosclerotic carotid plaques.

    PubMed

    Greißel, A; Culmes, M; Napieralski, R; Wagner, E; Gebhard, H; Schmitt, M; Zimmermann, A; Eckstein, H-H; Zernecke, A; Pelisek, J

    2015-08-01

    Little is known about epigenetics and its possible role in atherosclerosis. We here analysed histone and DNA methylation and the expression of corresponding methyltransferases in early and advanced human atherosclerotic carotid lesions in comparison to healthy carotid arteries. Western Blotting was performed on carotid plaques from our biobank with early (n=60) or advanced (n=60) stages of atherosclerosis and healthy carotid arteries (n=12) to analyse di-methylation patterns of histone H3 at positions K4, K9 and K27. In atherosclerotic lesions, di-methylation of H3K4 was unaltered and that of H3K9 and H3K27 significantly decreased compared to control arteries. Immunohistochemistry revealed an increased appearance of di-methylated H3K4 in smooth muscle cells (SMCs), a decreased expression of di-methylated H3K9 in SMCs and inflammatory cells, and reduced di-methylated H3K27 in inflammatory cells in advanced versus early atherosclerosis. Expression of corresponding histone methyltransferases MLL2 and G9a was increased in advanced versus early atherosclerosis. Genomic DNA hypomethylation, as determined by PCR for methylated LINE1 and SAT-alpha, was observed in early and advanced plaques compared to control arteries and in cell-free serum of patients with high-grade carotid stenosis compared to healthy volunteers. In contrast, no differences in DNA methylation were observed in blood cells. Expression of DNA-methyltransferase DNMT1 was reduced in atherosclerotic plaques versus controls, DNMT3A was undetectable, and DNMT3B not altered. DNA-demethylase TET1 was increased in atherosclerosisc plaques. The extent of histone and DNA methylation and expression of some corresponding methyltransferases are significantly altered in atherosclerosis, suggesting a possible contribution of epigenetics in disease development. PMID:25993995

  13. Insulin inhibits inflammation and promotes atherosclerotic plaque stability via PI3K-Akt pathway activation.

    PubMed

    Yan, Hao; Ma, Ying; Li, Yan; Zheng, Xiaohui; Lv, Ping; Zhang, Yuan; Li, Jia; Ma, Meijuan; Zhang, Le; Li, Congye; Zhang, Rongqing; Gao, Feng; Wang, Haichang; Tao, Ling

    2016-02-01

    Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 induced inflammation was reported to play an important role in atherosclerotic plaque stability. Recent studies indicated that insulin could inhibit inflammation by activating phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-Akt-dependent (PI3K-Akt) signaling pathway. In the current study, we hypothesized that insulin would inhibit TLR4 induced inflammation via promoting PI3K-Akt activation, thus enhancing the stabilization of atherosclerotic plaques. In order to mimic the process of plaque formation, monocyte-macrophage lineage RAW264.7 were cultured and induced to form foam cells by oxidized LDL (ox-LDL). Oil red O staining results showed that insulin significantly restrained ox-LDL-induced foam cell formation. Analysis of inflammatory reaction during foam cell formation indicated that insulin significantly down-regulated the expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6 levels, inhibited TLR4, myeloid differentiation primary response gene (MyD) 88 and nuclear factor (NF)-κB. Further mechanism analysis showed that pretreating with the PI3K blocker, wortmannin dramatically dampened the insulin-induced up-regulation of pAkt expression. Additionally, blockade of PI3K-Akt signaling also dampened the immunosuppression effect brought by insulin. Following the construction of a rodent atherosclerosis model, pretreatment of insulin resulted in an evident decrease in lipid deposition of the blood vessel wall, serum levels of TNF-α and IL-6, and numbers of infiltrated macrophages and foam cells. Taken together, these results suggested that insulin might inhibit inflammation and promote atherosclerotic plaque stability via the PI3K-Akt pathway by targeting TLR4-MyD88-NF-κB signaling. Our findings may provide a potential target for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. PMID:26681144

  14. Fluorescence imaging of macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques using plasmonic gold nanorose

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Tianyi; Sapozhnikova, Veronika; Mancuso, J. Jacob; Willsey, Brian; Qiu, Jinze; Ma, Li L.; Li, Xiankai; Johnston, Keith P.; Feldman, Marc D.; Milner, Thomas E.

    2011-03-01

    Macrophages are one of the most important cell types involved in the progression of atherosclerosis which can lead to myocardial infarction. To detect macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques, plasmonic gold nanorose is introduced as a nontoxic contrast agent for fluorescence imaging. We report macrophage cell culture and ex vivo tissue studies to visualize macrophages targeted by nanorose using scanning confocal microscopy. Atherosclerotic lesions were created in the aorta of a New Zealand white rabbit model subjected to a high cholesterol diet and double balloon injury. The rabbit was injected with nanoroses coated with dextran. A HeNe laser at 633 nm was used as an excitation light source and a acousto-optical beam splitter was utilized to collect fluorescence emission in 650-760 nm spectral range. Results of scanning confocal microscopy of macrophage cell culture and ex vivo tissue showed that nanoroses produce a strong fluorescence signal. The presence of nanorose in ex vivo tissue was further confirmed by photothermal wave imaging. These results suggest that scanning confocal microscopy can identify the presence and location of nanorose-loaded macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques.

  15. In vivo fluorescence imaging of atherosclerotic plaques with activatable cell-penetrating peptides targeting thrombin activity†

    PubMed Central

    Olson, Emilia S.; Whitney, Michael A.; Friedman, Beth; Aguilera, Todd A.; Crisp, Jessica L.; Baik, Fred M.; Jiang, Tao; Baird, Stephen M.; Tsimikas, Sotirios; Tsien, Roger Y.

    2012-01-01

    Thrombin and other coagulation enzymes have been shown to be important during atherosclerotic disease development. Study of these proteases is currently limited because of lack of robust molecular imaging agents for imaging protease activity in vivo. Activatable cell penetrating peptides (ACPPs) have been used to monitor MMP activity in tumors and, in principle, can be modified to detect other proteases. We have developed a probe that incorporates the peptide sequence DPRSFL from the proteinase activated receptor 1 (PAR-1) into an ACPP and shown that it is preferentially cleaved by purified thrombin. Active thrombin in serum cleaves DPRSFL–ACPP with >90% inhibition by lepirudin or argatroban. The DPRSFL–ACPP cleavage product accumulated in advanced atherosclerotic lesions in living mice, with 85% reduction in retention upon pre-injection of mice with hirudin. Uptake of the ACPP cleavage product was highest in plaques with histological features associated with more severe disease. Freshly resected human atheromas bathed in DPRSFL–ACPP retained 63% greater cleavage product compared to control ACPP. In conclusion, DPRSFL–ACPP can be used to study thrombin activity in coagulation and atherosclerosis with good spatial and temporal resolution. Thrombin-sensitive ACPPs may be developed into probes for early detection and intraoperative imaging of high risk atherosclerotic plaques. PMID:22534729

  16. Dual-modality fiber-based OCT-TPL imaging system for simultaneous microstructural and molecular analysis of atherosclerotic plaques

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Tianyi; McElroy, Austin; Halaney, David; Vela, Deborah; Fung, Edmund; Hossain, Shafat; Phipps, Jennifer; Wang, Bingqing; Yin, Biwei; Feldman, Marc D.; Milner, Thomas E.

    2015-01-01

    New optical imaging techniques that provide contrast to study both the anatomy and composition of atherosclerotic plaques can be utilized to better understand the formation, progression and clinical complications of human coronary artery disease. We present a dual-modality fiber-based optical imaging system for simultaneous microstructural and molecular analysis of atherosclerotic plaques that combines optical coherence tomography (OCT) and two-photon luminescence (TPL) imaging. Experimental results from ex vivo human coronary arteries show that OCT and TPL optical contrast in recorded OCT-TPL images is complimentary and in agreement with histological analysis. Molecular composition (e.g., lipid and oxidized-LDL) detected by TPL imaging can be overlaid onto plaque microstructure depicted by OCT, providing new opportunities for atherosclerotic plaque identification and characterization. PMID:26137371

  17. 13C MAS NMR studies of crystalline cholesterol and lipid mixtures modeling atherosclerotic plaques.

    PubMed Central

    Guo, W; Hamilton, J A

    1996-01-01

    Cholesterol and cholesteryl esters are the predominant lipids of atherosclerotic plaques. To provide fundamental data for the quantitative study of plaque lipids in situ, crystalline cholesterol (CHOL) and CHOL/cholesteryl ester (CE) mixtures with other lipids were studied by solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance with magic-angle-sample spinning. Highly distinctive spectra for three different crystalline structures of CHOL were obtained. When CHOL crystals were mixed with isotropic CE oil, solubilized CHOL (approximately 13 mol % CHOL) was detected by characteristic resonances such as C5, C6, and C3; the excess crystalline CHOL (either anhydrous or monohydrate) remained in its original crystalline structure, without being affected by the coexisting CE. By use of 13C-enriched CHOL, the solubility of CHOL in the CE liquid-crystalline phase (approximately 8 mol %) was measured. When phosphatidylcholine was hydrated in presence of CHOL and CE, magic-angle-sampling nuclear magnetic resonance revealed liquid-crystalline CHOL/phosphatidylcholine multilayers with approximately an equal molar ratio of CHOL/phosphatidylcholine. Excess CHOL existed in the monohydrate crystalline form, and CE in separate oil or crystalline phases, depending on the temperature. The magic-angle-sampling nuclear magnetic resonance protocol for identifying different lipid phases was applied to intact (ex vivo) atherosclerotic plaques of cholesterol-fed rabbits. Liquid, liquid-crystalline, and solid phases of CE were characterized. Images FIGURE 2 PMID:8913623

  18. Antioxidants attenuate atherosclerotic plaque development in a balloon-denuded and -radiated hypercholesterolemic rabbit

    SciTech Connect

    Leborgne, Laurent; Fournadjiev, Jana; Pakala, Rajbabu; Dilcher, Christian; Cheneau, Edouard; Wolfram, Roswitha; Hellinga, David; Seaborn, Rufus; O'Tio, Fermin; Waksman, Ron

    2003-03-01

    Background: Oxidation of lipoproteins is considered to be a key contributor to atherogenesis. Antioxidants are potential antiatherogenic agents because they can inhibit lipoprotein oxidation. Radiation has been shown to increase oxidative stress leading to increased atherogenesis. This study is designed to test the potential of antioxidants to inhibit atherosclerotic plaque progression in balloon-denuded and -radiated rabbits. Methods and Results: Two groups of New Zealand white rabbits (n=36) were fed with 1% cholesterol diet (control diet) or with 1% cholesterol diet containing a mixture of various antioxidants for 1 week. Iliac arteries in all the animals were balloon denuded and continued to fed with 0.15% cholesterol diet or 0.15% cholesterol diet containing antioxidants (antioxidant diet). Four weeks after balloon denudation one iliac artery in 12 animals from each group was radiated and all the animals were continued to be fed with the same diet. Four weeks after radiation animals were sacrificed and morphometric analysis of iliac arteries (n=12) in nonradiated and radiated animals were performed. Plaque area (PA) in the rabbits that were fed with cholesterol diet is 0.2{+-}0.12 mm{sup 2}, and it is increased by 2.75-fold (P<.05) in the radiated arteries of animals fed with cholesterol diet. Plaque area in the animals fed with antioxidant diet is 50% less then the one in the animals fed with cholesterol diet. Similarly, plaque area in radiated arteries of the animals fed with antioxidant diet is 50% less then the animals fed with cholesterol diet. Conclusion: Antioxidants significantly attenuate atherosclerotic plaque progression in balloon-injured and -radiated hypercholesterolemic rabbits.

  19. Intermittent cold stress enhances features of atherosclerotic plaque instability in apolipoprotein E‑deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Xi; Wang, Qiang; Zhang, Yan; Yang, Dachun; Li, De; Tang, Bing; Li, Xiuchuan; Yang, Yongjian; Ma, Shuangtao

    2014-10-01

    The cold weather is associated with an increased occurrence of acute coronary events. However, the mechanisms underlying cold‑induced myocardial infarctions have not yet been fully elucidated. In the present study, 20 male, eight week‑old, apolipoprotein E (ApoE)‑deficient mice were subjected to either control conditions or intermittent cold exposure for eight weeks. Mice in the cold group were placed in a cold room at 4˚C for 4 h per day, while the mice in the control group were kept in a room at 24˚C. Cold‑exposed mice did not significantly differ from control mice in body weight, fasting glucose concentration and plasma lipid levels, including triglyceride, total cholesterol, low‑density lipoprotein and high‑density lipoprotein. The hematoxylin and eosin‑stained sections of the aortic root demonstrated increased plaque size in the cold group compared with the control group (P<0.01). Furthermore, cold‑treated mice exhibited significantly decreased plaque collagen and vascular smooth muscle cell deposition and increased macrophage and lymphocyte content (P<0.05 or P<0.01), which are typical features of atherosclerotic plaque instability. Additionally, the protein expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)‑2, MMP‑9 and MMP‑14 were significantly increased (P<0.05 or P<0.01), whereas tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase (TIMP)‑1 expression was decreased (P<0.05) following exposure to a cold environment. The present study demonstrated that chronic intermittent cold stress may increase atherosclerotic plaque size and promote plaque instability in ApoE‑deficient mice by altering the balance of MMPs and TIMPs. These findings may provide mechanistic insights into sudden cardiac death in cold environments. PMID:25109747

  20. Automatic classification of atherosclerotic plaques imaged with intravascular OCT (Conference Presentation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rico-Jimenez, Jose D.; Campos-Delgado, Daniel U.; Villiger, Martin; Bouma, Brett; Jo, Javier A.

    2016-03-01

    A novel computational method for plaque tissue characterization based on Intravascular Optical Coherence Tomography (IV-OCT) is presented. IV-OCT is becoming a powerful tool for the clinical evaluation of atherosclerotic plaques; however, it requires a trained expert for visual assessment and interpretation of the imaged plaques. Moreover, due to the inherit effect of speckle and the scattering attenuation of the optical scheme the direct interpretation of OCT images is limited. To overcome these difficulties, we propose to automatically identify the A-line profiles of the most significant plaque types (normal, fibrotic, or lipid-rich) and their respective abundance by using a probabilistic framework and blind alternated least squares to achieve the optimal decomposition. In this context, we present preliminary results of this novel probabilistic classification tool for intravascular OCT that relies on two steps. First, the B-scan is pre-processed to remove catheter artifacts, segment the lumen, select the region of interest (ROI), flatten the tissue surface, and reduce the speckle effect by a spatial entropy filter. Next, the resulting image is decomposed and its A-lines are classified by an automated strategy based on alternating-least-squares optimization. Our early results are encouraging and suggest that the proposed methodology can identify normal tissue, fibrotic and lipid-rich plaques from IV-OCT images.

  1. Intravascular photoacoustic imaging of atherosclerotic plaques: ex-vivo study using a rabbit model of atherosclerosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sethuraman, S.; Mallidi, S.; Aglyamov, S. R.; Amirian, J. H.; Litovsky, S.; Smalling, R. W.; Emelianov, S. Y.

    2007-02-01

    Diagnosis and treatment of atherosclerosis necessitates the detection and differentiation of rupture prone plaques. In principle, intravascular photoacoustic (IVPA) imaging has the ability to simultaneously visualize the structure and composition of atherosclerotic plaques by utilizing the difference in optical absorption. Extensive studies are required to validate the utility of IVPA imaging in detecting vulnerable plaques and address issues associated with the clinical implementation of the technique. In this work, we performed ex vivo imaging studies using a rabbit model of atherosclerosis. The intravascular photoacoustic (IVPA) and ultrasound (IVUS) images of the normal aorta and aorta with plaque were obtained and compared with histological slices of the tissue. The results indicate that IVPA imaging is capable of detecting plaques and showed potential in determining the composition. Furthermore, we initially addressed several aspects of clinical implementation of the IVPA imaging. Specifically, the configuration of combined IVPA and IVUS catheter was investigated and the effect of the optical absorption of the luminal blood on the IVPA image quality was evaluated. Overall, this study suggests that IVPA imaging can become a unique and important clinical tool.

  2. Piperlongumine inhibits atherosclerotic plaque formation and vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation by suppressing PDGF receptor signaling

    SciTech Connect

    Son, Dong Ju; Kim, Soo Yeon; Han, Seong Su; Kim, Chan Woo; Kumar, Sandeep; Park, Byeoung Soo; Lee, Sung Eun; Yun, Yeo Pyo; Jo, Hanjoong; Park, Young Hyun

    2012-10-19

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Anti-atherogenic effect of PL was examined using partial carotid ligation model in ApoE KO mice. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer PL prevented atherosclerotic plaque development, VSMCs proliferation, and NF-{kappa}B activation. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Piperlongumine reduced vascular smooth muscle cell activation through PDGF-R{beta} and NF-{kappa}B-signaling. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer PL may serve as a new therapeutic molecule for atherosclerosis treatment. -- Abstract: Piperlongumine (piplartine, PL) is an alkaloid found in the long pepper (Piper longum L.) and has well-documented anti-platelet aggregation, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties; however, the role of PL in prevention of atherosclerosis is unknown. We evaluated the anti-atherosclerotic potential of PL in an in vivo murine model of accelerated atherosclerosis and defined its mechanism of action in aortic vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) in vitro. Local treatment with PL significantly reduced atherosclerotic plaque formation as well as proliferation and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-{kappa}B) activation in an in vivo setting. PL treatment in VSMCs in vitro showed inhibition of migration and platelet-derived growth factor BB (PDGF-BB)-induced proliferation to the in vivo findings. We further identified that PL inhibited PDGF-BB-induced PDGF receptor beta activation and suppressed downstream signaling molecules such as phospholipase C{gamma}1, extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 and Akt. Lastly, PL significantly attenuated activation of NF-{kappa}B-a downstream transcriptional regulator in PDGF receptor signaling, in response to PDGF-BB stimulation. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate a novel, therapeutic mechanism by which PL suppresses atherosclerosis plaque formation in vivo.

  3. Citrullination within the atherosclerotic plaque: A potential target for the anti-citrullinated protein antibody response in rheumatoid arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Sokolove, Jeremy; Sharpe, Orr; Brennan, Matthew; Lahey, Lauren J.; Kao, Amy H.; Krishnan, Eswar; Edmundowicz, Daniel; Lepus, Christin M.; Wasko, Mary Chester; Robinson, William H.

    2013-01-01

    Background/Purpose Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, an observation not explained by traditional cardiac risk factors and generally limited to those with RA-associated autoantibodies such as rheumatoid factor and anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA). We hypothesized that citrullinated proteins within the atherosclerotic plaque can be targeted by ACPA, forming stimulatory immune complexes which propagate the progression of atherosclerosis. Methods and Results Protein lysates prepared from atherosclerotic segments of human aorta were investigated for the presence of citrulline-modified proteins and specifically citrullinated fibrinogen (cFb) by immunoprecipitation and/or immunoblotting followed by mass spectrometry. Immunohistochemistry was performed in coronary artery plaques for the presence of citrullinated proteins and the PAD4 enzyme. Levels of anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP), anti-citrullinated vimentin (cVim), and anti-cFb antibodies were measured in 134 women with seropositive RA previously characterized for the presence of subclinical atherosclerosis by electron beam CT scan (EBCT). Western analysis of atherosclerotic plaque lysates demonstrated several citrullinated proteins and the presence of cFb was confirmed by immunoprecipitation, and mass spectroscopy. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated co-localization of citrullinated proteins and the PAD4 enzyme within the coronary artery plaque. In age-adjusted regression models, antibodies targeting cFb and cit-vimentin, but not CCP2, were associated with an increased aortic plaque burden. Conclusion Citrullinated proteins are prevalent within the atherosclerotic plaque, and certain ACPAs are associated with atherosclerotic burden. These observations suggest that targeting of citrullinated epitopes, specifically cFb, within the atherosclerotic plaque could provide a mechanism for accelerated atherosclerosis observed in patients with RA. PMID

  4. The Fat-Fed Apolipoprotein E Knockout Mouse Brachiocephalic Artery in the Study of Atherosclerotic Plaque Rupture

    PubMed Central

    Bond, Andrew R.; Jackson, Christopher L.

    2011-01-01

    Atherosclerosis has been studied in animals for almost a century, yet the events leading up to the rupture of an atherosclerotic plaque (the underlying cause of the majority of fatal thrombosis formation) have only been studied in the past decade, due in part to the development of a mouse model of spontaneous plaque rupture. Apolipoprotein E knockout mice, when fed a high-fat diet, consistently develop lesions in the brachiocephalic artery that rupture at a known time point. It is therefore now possible to observe the development of lesions to elucidate the mechanisms behind the rupture of plaques. Critics argue that the model does not replicate the appearance of human atherosclerotic plaque ruptures. The purpose of this review is to highlight the reasons why we should be looking to the apolipoprotein E knockout mouse to further our understanding of plaque rupture. PMID:21076539

  5. Atherosclerotic Plaque Targeting Mechanism of Long-Circulating Nanoparticles Established by Multimodal Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Lobatto, Mark E.; Calcagno, Claudia; Millon, Antoine; Senders, Max L.; Fay, Francois; Robson, Philip M.; Ramachandran, Sarayu; Binderup, Tina; Paridaans, Maarten P.M.; Sensarn, Steven; Rogalla, Stephan; Gordon, Ronald E.; Cardoso, Luis; Storm, Gert; Metselaar, Josbert M.; Contag, Christopher H.; Stroes, Erik S. G.; Fayad, Zahi A.; Mulder, Willem J.M.

    2015-01-01

    Atherosclerosis is a major cause of global morbidity and mortality that could benefit from novel targeted therapeutics. Recent studies have shown efficient and local drug delivery with nanoparticles, although the nanoparticle targeting mechanism for atherosclerosis has not yet been fully elucidated. Here we used in vivo and ex vivo multimodal imaging to examine permeability of the vessel wall and atherosclerotic plaque accumulation of fluorescently labeled liposomal nanoparticles in a rabbit model. We found a strong correlation between permeability as established by in vivo dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging and nanoparticle plaque accumulation with subsequent nanoparticle distribution throughout the vessel wall. These key observations will enable the development of nanotherapeutic strategies for atherosclerosis. PMID:25619964

  6. Experimental study of USPIO-enhanced MRI in the detection of atherosclerotic plaque and the intervention of atorvastatin

    PubMed Central

    SHA, TING; QI, CHUNMEI; FU, WEI; HAO, JI; GONG, LEI; WU, HAO; ZHANG, QINGDUI

    2016-01-01

    Ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide (USPIO) can identify atherosclerotic vulnerable plaque and atorvastatin can stabilize vulnerable plaque by inhibiting the inflammatory response. Using balloon injury in rabbit abdominal aortic endothelial cells and p53 gene transfecting the local plaque, we established an atherosclerotic vulnerable plaque model. In the treatment group, animals were treated with atorvastatin for 8 weeks. At the end of week 16, the animals in each group underwent medication trigger. USPIO-enhanced MRI was utilized to detect vulnerable plaque formation and the transformation of stable plaque in the treatment group. Pathological and serological studies were conducted in animal sera and tissues. The images from the USPIO-enhanced MRI, and the vulnerable plaque showed low signal, especially on T2*-weighted sequences (T2*WI). Plaque signal strength reached a negative enhancement peak at 96 h. Compared with the other groups, lipids, cell adhesion molecule-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 levels were significantly lower (P<0.05) in the treatment group. In conclusion, USPIO-enhanced MRI can identify vulnerable plaque formation by deposition in macrophages, while atorvastatin is able to inhibit the progression of atherosclerosis and promote plaque transformation to the stable form. PMID:27347029

  7. The NF-κB pathway: regulation of the instability of atherosclerotic plaques activated by Fg, Fb, and FDPs.

    PubMed

    Cao, Yongjun; Zhou, Xiaomei; Liu, Huihui; Zhang, Yanlin; Yu, Xiaoyan; Liu, Chunfeng

    2013-11-01

    Recently, the molecular mechanism responsible for the instability of atherosclerotic plaques has gradually become a hot topic among researchers and clinicians. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) play an important role in the processes of formation and development of atherosclerosis. In this study, we established and employed the transwell co-culture system of rabbit aortic endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells to explore the relationship between fibrin (Fb), fibrinogen (Fg), and/or their degradation products (FDPs) in relation to the instability of atherosclerotic plaques; meanwhile, we observed the effects of Fg, Fb, and FDPs on the mRNA levels of MMPs and VEGF as well as on the activation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB). We concluded that Fb, Fg, and FDPs are involved in the progression of the instability of atherosclerotic plaques via increasing the expression of MMPs and VEGF. This effect might be mediated by the NF-кB pathway.

  8. Quantitative profiling of oxylipins in plasma and atherosclerotic plaques of hypercholesterolemic rabbits.

    PubMed

    Bojic, Lazar A; McLaren, David G; Harms, Amy C; Hankemeier, Thomas; Dane, Adrie; Wang, Sheng-Ping; Rosa, Ray; Previs, Stephen F; Johns, Douglas G; Castro-Perez, Jose M

    2016-01-01

    Oxylipins are oxidation products of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that affect a broad range of physiological processes, including cell proliferation, inflammation, inflammation resolution, and vascular function. Moreover, oxylipins are readily detectable in plasma, and certain subsets of oxylipins have been detected in human atherosclerotic lesions. Taken together, we set out to produce a detailed quantitative assessment of plasma and plaque oxylipins in a widely used model of atherosclerosis, to identify potential biomarkers of disease progression. We administered regular chow or regular chow supplemented with 0.5% cholesterol (HC) to male New Zealand white rabbits for 12 weeks to induce hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis. Our targeted lipidomic analyses of oxylipins on plaques isolated from rabbits fed the HC diet detected 34 oxylipins, 28 of which were in compliance with our previously established quality control acceptance criteria. The arachidonic acid (AA) metabolite derived from the COX pathway, 6-keto-PGF1α was the most abundant plaque oxylipin, followed by the linoleic acid (LA) metabolites 9-HODE, 13-HODE and 9,12,13-TriHOME and the arachidonic acid (AA)-derivatives 11-HETE and 12-HETE. We additionally found that the most abundant oxylipins in plasma were three of the five most abundant oxylipins in plaque, namely 11-HETE, 13-HODE, and 9-HODE. The studies reported here make the first step towards a comprehensive characterization of oxylipins as potentially translatable biomarkers of atherosclerosis.

  9. Computational approaches for analyzing the mechanics of atherosclerotic plaques: a review.

    PubMed

    Holzapfel, Gerhard A; Mulvihill, John J; Cunnane, Eoghan M; Walsh, Michael T

    2014-03-01

    Vulnerable and stable atherosclerotic plaques are heterogeneous living materials with peculiar mechanical behaviors depending on geometry, composition, loading and boundary conditions. Computational approaches have the potential to characterize the three-dimensional stress/strain distributions in patient-specific diseased arteries of different types and sclerotic morphologies and to estimate the risk of plaque rupture which is the main trigger of acute cardiovascular events. This review article attempts to summarize a few finite element (FE) studies for different vessel types, and how these studies were performed focusing on the used stress measure, inclusion of residual stress, used imaging modality and material model. In addition to histology the most used imaging modalities are described, the most common nonlinear material models and the limited number of models for plaque rupture used for such studies are provided in more detail. A critical discussion on stress measures and threshold stress values for plaque rupture used within the FE studies emphasizes the need to develop a more location and tissue-specific threshold value, and a more appropriate failure criterion. With this addition future FE studies should also consider more advanced strain-energy functions which then fit better to location and tissue-specific experimental data.

  10. Detection of Vulnerable Atherosclerotic Plaques in Experimental Atherosclerosis with the USPIO-Enhanced MRI.

    PubMed

    Qi, Chun-Mei; Du, Lili; Wu, Wei-Heng; Li, Dong-Ye; Hao, Ji; Gong, Lei; Deng, Liangrong; Zhang, Tao; Zhang, Chao; Zhang, Yu

    2015-11-01

    This study's goal was to assess the diagnostic value of the USPIO-(ultra-small superparamagnetic iron oxide) enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in detection of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques in abdominal aorta in experimental atherosclerosis. Thirty New Zealand rabbits were randomly divided into two groups, Group A and Group B. Each group comprised 15 animals which were fed with high cholesterol diet for 8 weeks and then subjected to balloon-induced endothelial injury of the abdominal aorta. After another 8 weeks, animals in Group B received adenovirus carrying p53 gene that was injected through a catheter into the aortic segments rich in plaques. Two weeks later, all rabbits were challenged with the injection of Chinese Russell's viper venom and histamine. Pre-contrast images and USPIO-enhanced MRI images were obtained after pharmacological triggering with injection of USPIO for 5 days. Blood specimens were taken for biochemical and serological tests at 0 and 18 weeks. Abdominal aorta was histologically studied. The levels of serum ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 were quantified by ELISA. Vulnerable plaques appeared as a local hypo-intense signal on the USPIO-enhanced MRI, especially on T2*-weighted sequences. The signal strength of plaques reached the peak at 96 h. Lipid levels were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in both Group A and B compared with the levels before the high cholesterol diet. The ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 levels were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in Group B compared with Group A. The USPIO-enhanced MRI efficiently identifies vulnerable plaques due to accumulation of USPIO within macrophages in abdominal aorta plaques. PMID:27352319

  11. Piperlongumine inhibits atherosclerotic plaque formation and vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation by suppressing PDGF receptor signaling

    PubMed Central

    Son, Dong Ju; Kim, Soo Yeon; Han, Seong Su; Kim, Chan Woo; Kumar, Sandeep; Park, Byeoung Soo; Lee, Sung Eun; Yun, Yeo Pyo; Jo, Hanjoong; Park, Young Hyun

    2012-01-01

    Piperlongumine (piplartine, PL) is an alkaloid found in the long pepper (Piper longum L.) and has well-documented anti-platelet aggregation, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties; however, the role of PL in prevention of atherosclerosis is unknown. We evaluated the anti-atherosclerotic potential of PL in an in vivo murine model of accelerated atherosclerosis and defined its mechanism of action in aortic vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) in vitro. Local treatment with PL significantly reduced atherosclerotic plaque formation as well as proliferation and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) activation in an in vivo setting. PL treatment in VSMCs in vitro showed inhibition of migration and platelet-derived growth factor BB (PDGF-BB)-induced proliferation to the in vivo findings. We further identified that PL inhibited PDGF-BB-induced PDGF receptor beta activation and suppressed downstream signaling molecules such as phospholipase C1, extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 and Akt. Lastly, PL significantly attenuated activation of NF-κB—a downstream transcriptional regulator in PDGF receptor signaling, in response to PDGF-BB stimulation. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate a novel, therapeutic mechanism by which PL suppresses atherosclerosis plaque formation in vivo. PMID:22995306

  12. Photon counting spectral CT component analysis of coronary artery atherosclerotic plaque samples

    PubMed Central

    Coulon, P; Thran, A; Roessl, E; Martens, G; Sigovan, M; Douek, P

    2014-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate the capabilities of photon counting spectral CT to differentiate components of coronary atherosclerotic plaque based on differences in spectral attenuation and iodine-based contrast agent concentration. Methods: 10 calcified and 13 lipid-rich non-calcified histologically demonstrated atheromatous plaques from post-mortem human coronary arteries were scanned with a photon counting spectral CT scanner. Individual photons were counted and classified in one of six energy bins from 25 to 70 keV. Based on a maximum likelihood approach, maps of photoelectric absorption (PA), Compton scattering (CS) and iodine concentration (IC) were reconstructed. Intensity measurements were performed on each map in the vessel wall, the surrounding perivascular fat and the lipid-rich and the calcified plaques. PA and CS values are expressed relative to pure water values. A comparison between these different elements was performed using Kruskal–Wallis tests with pairwise post hoc Mann–Whitney U-tests and Sidak p-value adjustments. Results: Results for vessel wall, surrounding perivascular fat and lipid-rich and calcified plaques were, respectively, 1.19 ± 0.09, 0.73 ± 0.05, 1.08 ± 0.14 and 17.79 ± 6.70 for PA; 0.96 ± 0.02, 0.83 ± 0.02, 0.91 ± 0.03 and 2.53 ± 0.63 for CS; and 83.3 ± 10.1, 37.6 ± 8.1, 55.2 ± 14.0 and 4.9 ± 20.0 mmol l−1 for IC, with a significant difference between all tissues for PA, CS and IC (p < 0.012). Conclusion: This study demonstrates the capability of energy-sensitive photon counting spectral CT to differentiate between calcifications and iodine-infused regions of human coronary artery atherosclerotic plaque samples by analysing differences in spectral attenuation and iodine-based contrast agent concentration. Advances in knowledge: Photon counting spectral CT is a promising technique to identify plaque components by analysing differences in iodine-based contrast agent

  13. Support vector machine based classification and mapping of atherosclerotic plaques using fluorescence lifetime imaging (Conference Presentation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fatakdawala, Hussain; Gorpas, Dimitris S.; Bec, Julien; Ma, Dinglong M.; Yankelevich, Diego R.; Bishop, John W.; Marcu, Laura

    2016-02-01

    The progression of atherosclerosis in coronary vessels involves distinct pathological changes in the vessel wall. These changes manifest in the formation of a variety of plaque sub-types. The ability to detect and distinguish these plaques, especially thin-cap fibroatheromas (TCFA) may be relevant for guiding percutaneous coronary intervention as well as investigating new therapeutics. In this work we demonstrate the ability of fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIm) derived parameters (lifetime values from sub-bands 390/40 nm, 452/45 nm and 542/50 nm respectively) for generating classification maps for identifying eight different atherosclerotic plaque sub-types in ex vivo human coronary vessels. The classification was performed using a support vector machine based classifier that was built from data gathered from sixteen coronary vessels in a previous study. This classifier was validated in the current study using an independent set of FLIm data acquired from four additional coronary vessels with a new rotational FLIm system. Classification maps were compared to co-registered histological data. Results show that the classification maps allow identification of the eight different plaque sub-types despite the fact that new data was gathered with a different FLIm system. Regions with diffuse intimal thickening (n=10), fibrotic tissue (n=2) and thick-cap fibroatheroma (n=1) were correctly identified on the classification map. The ability to identify different plaque types using FLIm data alone may serve as a powerful clinical and research tool for studying atherosclerosis in animal models as well as in humans.

  14. Automatic plaque characterization and vessel wall segmentation in magnetic resonance images of atherosclerotic carotid arteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adame, Isabel M.; van der Geest, Rob J.; Wasserman, Bruce A.; Mohamed, Mona; Reiber, Johan H. C.; Lelieveldt, Boudewijn P. F.

    2004-05-01

    Composition and structure of atherosclerotic plaque is a primary focus of cardiovascular research. In vivo MRI provides a meanse to non-invasively image and assess the morphological features of athersclerotic and normal human carotid arteries. To quantitatively assess the vulnerability and the type of plaque, the contours of the lumen, outer boundary of the vessel wall and plaque components, need to be traced. To achieve this goal, we have developed an automated contou detection technique, which consists of three consecutive steps: firstly, the outer boundary of the vessel wall is detected by means of an ellipse-fitting procedure in order to obtain smoothed shapes; secondly, the lumen is segnented using fuzzy clustering. Thre region to be classified is that within the outer vessel wall boundary obtained from the previous step; finally, for plaque detection we follow the same approach as for lumen segmentation: fuzzy clustering. However, plaque is more difficult to segment, as the pixel gray value can differ considerably from one region to another, even when it corresponds to the same type of tissue. That makes further processing necessary. All these three steps might be carried out combining information from different sequences (PD-, T2-, T1-weighted images, pre- and post-contrast), to improve the contour detection. The algorithm has been validated in vivo on 58 high-resolution PD and T1 weighted MR images (19 patients). The results demonstrate excellent correspondence between automatic and manual area measurements: lumen (r=0.94), outer (r=0.92), and acceptable for fibrous cap thickness (r=0.76).

  15. A Framework for Local Mechanical Characterization of Atherosclerotic Plaques: Combination of Ultrasound Displacement Imaging and Inverse Finite Element Analysis.

    PubMed

    Akyildiz, Ali C; Hansen, Hendrik H G; Nieuwstadt, Harm A; Speelman, Lambert; De Korte, Chris L; van der Steen, Antonius F W; Gijsen, Frank J H

    2016-04-01

    Biomechanical models have the potential to predict plaque rupture. For reliable models, correct material properties of plaque components are a prerequisite. This study presents a new technique, where high resolution ultrasound displacement imaging and inverse finite element (FE) modeling is combined, to estimate material properties of plaque components. Iliac arteries with plaques were excised from 6 atherosclerotic pigs and subjected to an inflation test with pressures ranging from 10 to 120 mmHg. The arteries were imaged with high frequency 40 MHz ultrasound. Deformation maps of the plaques were reconstructed by cross correlation of the ultrasound radiofrequency data. Subsequently, the arteries were perfusion fixed for histology and structural components were identified. The histological data were registered to the ultrasound data to construct FE model of the plaques. Material properties of the arterial wall and the intima of the atherosclerotic plaques were estimated using a grid search method. The computed displacement fields showed good agreement with the measured displacement fields, implying that the FE models were able to capture local inhomogeneities within the plaque. On average, nonlinear stiffening of both the wall and the intima was observed, and the wall of the atheroslcerotic porcine iliac arteries was markedly stiffer than the intima (877 ± 459 vs. 100 ± 68 kPa at 100 mmHg). The large spread in the data further illustrates the wide variation of the material properties. We demonstrated the feasibility of a mixed experimental-numerical framework to determine the material properties of arterial wall and intima of atherosclerotic plaques from intact arteries, and concluded that, due to the observed variation, plaque specific properties are required for accurate stress simulations.

  16. Measurement of fibrous cap thickness in atherosclerotic plaques by spatiotemporal analysis of laser speckle images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadkarni, Seemantini K.; Bilenca, Alberto; Bouma, Brett E.; Tearney, Guillermo J.

    2006-03-01

    Necrotic-core fibroatheromas (NCFA) with thin, mechanically weak fibrous caps overlying lipid cores comprise the majority of plaques that rupture and cause acute myocardial infarction. Laser speckle imaging (LSI) has been recently demonstrated to enable atherosclerotic plaque characterization with high accuracy. We investigate spatio-temporal analysis of LSI data, in conjunction with diffusion theory and Monte Carlo modeling of light transport, to estimate fibrous cap thickness in NCFAs. Time-varying laser speckle images of 20 NCFAs are selected for analysis. Spatio-temporal intensity fluctuations are analyzed by exponential fitting of the windowed normalized cross-correlation of sequential laser speckle patterns to obtain the speckle decorrelation time constant, τ(ρ), as a function of distance ρ from the source entry location. The distance, ρ‧, at which τ(ρ) dropped to 65% of its maximum value is recorded. Diffusion theory and Monte Carlo models are utilized to estimate the maximum photon penetration depth, zmax(ρ‧), for a distance equal to ρ‧, measured from LSI. Measurements of zmax(ρ‧) correlate well with histological measurements of fibrous cap thickness (R=0.78,p<0.0001), and paired t-tests show no significant difference between the groups (p=0.4). These results demonstrate that spatio-temporal LSI may allow the estimation of fibrous cap thickness in NCFAs, which is an important predictor of plaque stability.

  17. Low shear stress induces M1 macrophage polarization in murine thin-cap atherosclerotic plaques.

    PubMed

    Seneviratne, Anusha N; Cole, Jennifer E; Goddard, Michael E; Park, Inhye; Mohri, Zahra; Sansom, Stephen; Udalova, Irina; Krams, Rob; Monaco, Claudia

    2015-12-01

    Macrophages, a significant component of atherosclerotic plaques vulnerable to acute complications, can be pro-inflammatory (designated M1), regulatory (M2), lipid- (Mox) or Heme-induced (Mhem). We showed previously that low (LSS) and oscillatory (OSS) shear stress cause thin-cap fibroatheroma and stable smooth muscle cell-rich plaque formation respectively in ApoE-knockout (ApoE(-/-)) mice. Here we investigated whether different shear stress conditions relate to specific changes in macrophage polarization and plaque morphology by applying a shear stress-altering cast to the carotid arteries of high fat-fed ApoE(-/-) mice. The M1 markers iNOS and IRF5 were highly expressed in macrophage-rich areas of LSS lesions compared to OSS lesions 6weeks after cast placement, while the M2 marker Arginase-1, and Mox/Mhem markers HO-1 and CD163 were elevated in OSS lesions. Our data indicates shear stress could be an important determinant of macrophage polarization in atherosclerosis, with low shear promoting M1 programming.

  18. Comparison of Gadofluorine-M and Gd-DTPA for Non-Invasive Staging of Atherosclerotic Plaque Stability Using MRI

    PubMed Central

    Ronald, John A.; Chen, Yuanxin; Belisle, Andre J.-L.; Hamilton, Amanda M.; Rogers, Kem A.; Hegele, Robert A.; Misselwitz, Bernd; Rutt, Brian K.

    2009-01-01

    Background Inflammation and neovascularization play critical roles in the stability of atherosclerotic plaques. Whole-body quantitative assessment of these plaque features may improve patient risk-stratification for life-threatening thromboembolic events and direct appropriate intervention. Here we determined the utility of the MR contrast agent Gadofluorine-M (GdF) for staging plaque stability and compared this to the conventional agent Gd-DTPA. Methods and Results 5 control and 7 atherosclerotic rabbits were sequentially imaged following administration of Gd-DTPA (0.2 mmol/kg) and GdF (0.1 mmol/kg) using a T1-weighted pulse sequence on a 3T MRI scanner. Diseased aortic wall could be distinguished from normal wall based on wall-to-muscle contrast-to-noise values following GdF administration. RAM-11 (macrophages) and CD-31 (endothelial cells) immunostaining of MR-matched histological sections revealed that GdF accumulation was related to the degree of inflammation at the surface of plaques and the extent of core neovascularization. Importantly, an MR measure of GdF accumulation at both 1 and 24 hours post-injection, but not Gd-DTPA at peak enhancement, was shown to correlate with a quantitative histological morphology index related to these two plaque features. Conclusions GdF-enhanced MRI of atherosclerotic plaques allows non-invasive quantitative information about plaque composition to be acquired at multiple time points post-injection (within 1 and up to 24 hours post-injection). This dramatically widens the imaging window for assessing plaque stability that is currently attainable with clinically approved MR agents, therefore opening the possibility of whole-body (including coronary) detection of unstable plaques in the future and potentially improved mitigation of cataclysmic cardiovascular events. PMID:19808597

  19. Icaritin Inhibits Collagen Degradation-Related Factors and Facilitates Collagen Accumulation in Atherosclerotic Lesions: A Potential Action for Plaque Stabilization.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zong-Kang; Li, Jie; Yan, De-Xin; Leung, Wing-Nang; Zhang, Bao-Ting

    2016-01-28

    Most acute coronary syndromes result from rupture of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques. The collagen content of plaques may critically affect plaque stability. This study tested whether Icaritin (ICT), an intestinal metabolite of Epimedium-derived flavonoids, could alter the collagen synthesis/degradation balance in atherosclerotic lesions. Rabbits were fed with an atherogenic diet for four months. Oral administration of ICT (10 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1)) was started after two months of an atherogenic diet and lasted for two months. The collagen degradation-related parameters, including macrophages accumulation, content and activity of interstitial collagenase-1 (MMP-1), and the collagen synthesis-related parameters, including amount and distribution of smooth muscle cells (SMC) and collagen mRNA/protein levels, were evaluated in the aorta. ICT reduced plasma lipid levels, inhibited macrophage accumulation, lowered MMP-1 mRNA and protein expression, and suppressed proteolytic activity of pro-MMP-1 and MMP-1 in the aorta. ICT changed the distribution of the SMCs towards the fibrous cap of lesions without increasing the amount of SMCs. Higher collagen protein content in lesions and aorta homogenates was observed with ICT treatment compared with the atherogenic diet only, without altered collagen mRNA level. These results suggest that ICT could inhibit the collagen degradation-related factors and facilitate collagen accumulation in atherosclerotic lesions, indicating a new potential of ICT in atherosclerotic plaques.

  20. Scintillating Balloon-Enabled Fiber-Optic System for Radionuclide Imaging of Atherosclerotic Plaques

    PubMed Central

    Zaman, Raiyan T.; Kosuge, Hisanori; Carpenter, Colin; Sun, Conroy; McConnell, Michael V.; Xing, Lei

    2015-01-01

    scintillating crystal to the balloon: 1.65 × 102 ± 4.07 × 101 vs. 4.44 × 101 ± 2.17 × 100 (photon counts), P = 0.005. Both external optical imaging and autoradiography confirmed the high signal from the 18F-FDG in carotid plaques versus controls. Conclusion This SBRI system provides high-resolution and sensitive detection of 18F-FDG uptake by murine atherosclerotic plaques. PMID:25858046

  1. Delivery of negatively charged liposomes into the atherosclerotic plaque of apolipoprotein E-deficient mouse aortic tissue.

    PubMed

    Zhaorigetu, Siqin; Rodriguez-Aguayo, Cristian; Sood, Anil K; Lopez-Berestein, Gabriel; Walton, Brian L

    2014-09-01

    Liposomes have been used to diagnose and treat cancer and, to a lesser extent, cardiovascular disease. We previously showed the uptake of anionic liposomes into the atheromas of Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic rabbits within lipid pools. However, the cellular distribution of anionic liposomes in atherosclerotic plaque remains undescribed. In addition, how anionic liposomes are absorbed into atherosclerotic plaque is unclear. We investigated the uptake and distribution of anionic liposomes in atherosclerotic plaque in aortic tissues from apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE(-/-)) mice. To facilitate the tracking of liposomes, we used liposomes containing fluorescently labeled non-silencing small interfering RNA. Confocal microscopy analysis showed the uptake of anionic liposomes into atherosclerotic plaque and colocalization with macrophages. Transmission electron microscopy analysis revealed anionic liposomal accumulation in macrophages. To investigate how anionic liposomes cross the local endothelial barrier, we examined the role of clathrin-mediated endocytosis in human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs) treated with or without the inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. Pretreatment with amantadine, an inhibitor of clathrin-mediated endocytosis, significantly decreased liposomal uptake in HCAECs treated with or without TNF-α by 77% and 46%, respectively. Immunoblot analysis showed that endogenous clathrin expression was significantly increased in HCAECs stimulated with TNF-α but was inhibited by amantadine. These studies indicated that clathrin-mediated endocytosis is partly responsible for the uptake of liposomes by endothelial cells. Our results suggest that anionic liposomes target macrophage-rich areas of vulnerable plaque in ApoE(-)(/)(-) mice; this finding may lead to the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for treating vulnerable plaque in humans.

  2. Fluorescence lifetime imaging for the characterization of the biochemical composition of atherosclerotic plaques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phipps, Jennifer; Sun, Yinghua; Saroufeem, Ramez; Hatami, Nisa; Fishbein, Michael C.; Marcu, Laura

    2011-09-01

    This study investigates the ability of a flexible fiberoptic-based fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) technique to resolve biochemical features in plaque fibrotic cap associated with plaque instability and based solely on fluorescence decay characteristics. Autofluorescence of atherosclerotic human aorta (11 autopsy samples) was measured at 48 locations through two filters, F377: 377/50 and F460: 460/60 nm (center wavelength/bandwidth). The fluorescence decay dynamic was described by average lifetime (τ) and four Laguerre coefficients (LECs) retrieved through a Laguerre deconvolution technique. FLIM-derived parameters discriminated between four groups [elastin-rich (ER), elastin and macrophage-rich (E+M), collagen-rich (CR), and lipid-rich (LR)]. For example, τF377 discriminated ER from CR (R = 0.84); τF460 discriminated E+M from CR and ER (R = 0.60 and 0.54, respectively); LEC-1F377 discriminated CR from LR and E+M (R = 0.69 and 0.77, respectively); P < 0.05 for all correlations. Linear discriminant analysis was used to classify this data set with specificity >87% (all cases) and sensitivity as high as 86%. Current results demonstrate for the first time that clinically relevant features (e.g., ratios of lipid versus collagen versus elastin) can be evaluated with a flexible-fiber based FLIM technique without the need for fluorescence intensity information or contrast agents.

  3. Inhaled diesel emissions alter atherosclerotic plaque composition in ApoE{sup -/-} mice

    SciTech Connect

    Campen, Matthew J.; Lund, Amie K.; Knuckles, Travis L.; Conklin, Daniel J.; Bishop, Barbara; Young, David; Seilkop, Steven; Seagrave, JeanClare; Reed, Matthew D.; McDonald, Jacob D.

    2010-02-01

    Recent epidemiological studies suggest that traffic-related air pollution may have detrimental effects on cardiovascular health. Previous studies reveal that gasoline emissions can induce several enzyme pathways involved in the formation and development of atherosclerotic plaques. As a direct comparison, the present study examined the impact of diesel engine emissions on these pathways, and further examined the effects on vascular lesion pathology. Apolipoprotein E-null mice were simultaneously placed on a high-fat chow diet and exposed to four concentrations, plus a high concentration exposure with particulates (PM) removed by filtration, of diesel emissions for 6 h/day for 50 days. Aortas were subsequently assayed for alterations in matrix metalloproteinase-9, endothelin-1, and several other biomarkers. Diesel induced dose-related alterations in gene markers of vascular remodeling and aortic lipid peroxidation; filtration of PM did not significantly alter these vascular responses, indicating that the gaseous portion of the exhaust was a principal driver. Immunohistochemical analysis of aortic leaflet sections revealed no net increase in lesion area, but a significant decrease in lipid-rich regions and increasing trends in macrophage accumulation and collagen content, suggesting that plaques were advanced to a more fragile, potentially more vulnerable state by diesel exhaust exposure. Combined with previous studies, these results indicate that whole emissions from mobile sources may have a significant role in promoting chronic vascular disease.

  4. Inhaled Diesel Emissions Alter Atherosclerotic Plaque Composition in ApoE−/− Mice

    PubMed Central

    Campen, Matthew J.; Lund, Amie K.; Knuckles, Travis L.; Conklin, Daniel J.; Bishop, Barbara; Young, David; Seilkop, Steven; Seagrave, JeanClare; Reed, Matthew D.; McDonald, Jacob D.

    2009-01-01

    Recent epidemiological studies suggest that traffic-related air pollution may have detrimental effects on cardiovascular health. Previous studies reveal that gasoline emissions can induce several enzyme pathways involved in the formation and development of atherosclerotic plaques. As a direct comparison, the present study examined the impact of diesel engine emissions on these pathways, and further examined the effects on vascular lesion pathology. Apolipoprotein E-null mice were simultaneously placed on a high fat chow diet and exposed to four concentrations, plus a high concentration exposure with particulates (PM) removed by filtration, of diesel emissions for 6 h/d for 50 days. Aortas were subsequently assayed for alteration in matrix metalloproteinase-9, endothelin-1, and several other biomarkers. Diesel induced dose-related alterations in gene markers of vascular remodeling and aortic lipid peroxidation; filtration of PM did not significantly alter these vascular responses, indicating that the gaseous portion of the exhaust was a principal driver. Immunohistochemical analysis of aortic leaflet sections revealed no net increase in lesion area, but a significant decrease in lipid-rich regions and increasing trends in macrophage accumulation and collagen content, suggesting that plaques were advanced to a more fragile, potentially more vulnerable state by diesel exhaust exposure. Combined with previous studies, these results indicate that whole emissions from mobile sources may have a significant role in promoting chronic vascular disease. PMID:19891982

  5. Magnetization transfer characteristics in atherosclerotic plaque components assessed by adapted binomial preparation pulses.

    PubMed

    Pachot-Clouard, M; Vaufrey, F; Darrasse, L; Toussainti, J F

    1998-11-01

    Increasing the contrast between atheromatous plaque components is a major issue in cardiovascular MRI research. It would allow one to identify unstable plaque by differentiating the lipid core associated with vulnerability, from the fibrous cap, considered as a factor of stability. T2 and diffusion-weighted imaging have already provided satisfying results. Magnetization transfer (MT) between restricted protons Hr and free-water protons Hf could achieve a different contrast related to collagen and lipoprotein macromolecules present in the fibrous cap and lipid core, respectively. The purpose of this work was to evaluate in vitro the MT effect produced by adapted T2-selective 1-3-3-1 binomial pulses on isolated samples of atheromatous arteries at 3 T. A method based on simulation was used in order to improve the MT specificity: it is shown that 50% 1-3-3-1 pulses (the percentage indicating the level of Hr saturation) allow an estimation of T2r, the Hr T2. Using this technique, magnetization transfer was observed for the first time in atherosclerotic plaque components, an effect more pronounced for the fibrous cap and media than for the lipid core and adventitia. The T2r estimation gave values ranging from 20 to 25 micros for the four samples. This preliminary study provides a basis for establishing an MT imaging sequence of atheromatous arteries, by using 50% 1-3-3-1 pulses calibrated for saturating protons with a 20 micros T2. This MT protocol should be further compared to T2 and diffusion-weighted imaging. PMID:9877454

  6. Increased expression of fatty acid binding protein 4 and leptin in resident macrophages characterises atherosclerotic plaque rupture

    PubMed Central

    Lee, K.; Santibanez-Koref, M.; Polvikoski, T.; Birchall, D.; Mendelow, A.D.; Keavney, B.

    2013-01-01

    Objective Resident macrophages play an important role in atheromatous plaque rupture. The macrophage gene expression signature associated with plaque rupture is incompletely defined due to the complex cellular heterogeneity in the plaque. We aimed to characterise differential gene expression in resident plaque macrophages from ruptured and stable human atheromatous lesions. Methods and results We performed genome-wide expression analyses of isolated macrophage-rich regions of stable and ruptured human atherosclerotic plaques. Plaques present in carotid endarterectomy specimens were designated as stable or ruptured using clinical, radiological and histopathological criteria. Macrophage-rich regions were excised from 5 ruptured and 6 stable plaques by laser micro-dissection. Transcriptional profiling was performed using Affymetrix microarrays. The profiles were characteristic of activated macrophages. At a false discovery rate of 10%, 914 genes were differentially expressed between stable and ruptured plaques. The findings were confirmed in fourteen further stable and ruptured samples for a subset of eleven genes with the highest expression differences (p < 0.05). Pathway analysis revealed that components of the PPAR/Adipocytokine signaling pathway were the most significantly upregulated in ruptured compared to stable plaques (p = 5.4 × 10−7). Two key components of the pathway, fatty-acid binding-protein 4 (FABP4) and leptin, showed nine-fold (p = 0.0086) and five-fold (p = 0.0012) greater expression respectively in macrophages from ruptured plaques. Conclusions We found differences in gene expression signatures between macrophages isolated from stable and ruptured human atheromatous plaques. Our findings indicate the involvement of FABP4 and leptin in the progression of atherosclerosis and plaque rupture, and suggest that down-regulation of PPAR/adipocytokine signaling within plaques may have therapeutic potential. PMID:23122912

  7. Selective removal of cholesterol ester in atherosclerotic plaque using nanosecond pulsed laser at 5.75 μm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishii, K.; Tsukimoto, H.; Hazama, H.; Awazu, K.

    2008-02-01

    Laser angioplasty, for example XeCl excimer laser angioplasty, has gained more attention in addition to conventional methods of surgical and interventional treatment of atherosclerotic diseases such as bypass operation and balloon dilatation. Low degrees of thermal damage after ablation of atherosclerotic lesions have been achieved by XeCl excimer laser at 308 nm. However, in most cases, laser ablation is not selective and normal arterial wall is also damaged. To avoid complications such as severe dissections or perforation of the arterial wall in an angioplasty, a laser light source with high ablation efficiency but low arterial wall injury is desirable. At atherosclerotic lesions, cholesterol accumulates on the tunica intima by establishing an ester bond with fatty acids such as oleic acid, and thus cholesterol ester is the main component of atherosclerotic plaques. Mid-infrared pulsed laser at 5.75 μm is selectively well absorbed in C=O stretching vibration mode of ester bonds. The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of nanosecond pulsed laser at 5.75 μm irradiation of cholesterol ester in atherosclerotic plaques. In this study, we used a mid-infrared tunable solid-state laser which is operated by difference frequency generation method, with a wavelength of 5.75 μm, a pulse width of 5 nsec and a pulse duration of 10 Hz. It was confirmed that non-invasive interaction to normal thoracic aortas could be induce by the parameters, the wavelength of 5.75 μm, the average power densities of 35 W/cm2 and the irradiation time under 10 sec. This study shows that nanosecond pulsed laser irradiations at 5.75 μm provide an alternative laser light source as an effectively cutting, less traumatic tool for removal of atherosclerotic plaque.

  8. Ultrastructural changes in atherosclerotic plaques following the instillation of airborne particulate matter into the lungs of rabbits

    PubMed Central

    Tranfield, Erin M; van Eeden, Stephan F; Yatera, Kazuhiro; Hogg, James C; Walker, David C

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Epidemiological studies have established that cardiovascular events account for the greatest number of air pollution-related deaths. However, the underlying structural changes are still unknown. OBJECTIVE: To investigate changes in the ultrastructure of atherosclerotic plaques in Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic (WHHL) rabbits following the instillation of ambient particulate matter air pollution (particles smaller than 10 μm in diameter) into the lungs. METHODS: WHHL rabbits (n=8) exposed to 5 mg of ambient particles (Environmental Health Centre – 1993 [EHC-93]; suspended in saline and instilled in the airway) twice per week for four weeks were compared with control WHHL rabbits (n=8) treated with saline alone. RESULTS: All abdominal aortic plaques were examined using light and electron microscopy, which showed the following: increased accumulation of macrophage-derived foam cells immediately below the endothelial plaque surface (P=0.04); increased contact between these foam cells and the dense subendothelial extracellular matrix (P<0.005) with reduction (P<0.0001) and fragmentation (P<0.0001) of this matrix; and emigration of macrophage-derived foam cells from the plaques in exposed rabbits. In addition, immunohistochemistry verified the presence of type IV collagen in the thickened extracellular matrix material subtending the endothelium. CONCLUSIONS: The ultrastructure of atherosclerotic plaques in EHC-93-instilled rabbits differed from the ultrastructure observed in rabbits that did not receive EHC-93. These ultrastructural differences are consistent with greater endothelial instability in the plaques of atherosclerosis-prone rabbits. PMID:20847974

  9. Photosensitizer delivery to vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque: comparison of macrophage-targeted conjugate versus free chlorine(e6)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tawakol, Ahmed; Castano, Ana P.; Anatelli, Florencia; Bashian, Gregory; Stern, Jeremy; Zahra, Touqir; Gad, Faten; Chirico, Stephanie; Ahmadi, Atosa; Fischman, Alan J.; Muller, James E.; Hamblin, Michael R.

    2006-03-01

    We have previously shown that a conjugate (MA-ce6) between maleylated serum albumin and the photosensitizer chlorin(e6) (ce6) is targeted in vitro to macrophages via class A scavenger receptors. We now report on the ability of this conjugate to localize in macrophage-rich atherosclerotic plaques in vivo. Both the conjugate and the free photosensitizer ce6 are studied after injection into New Zealand White rabbits that are rendered atherosclerotic by a combination of aortic endothelial injury and cholesterol feeding into normal rabbits. Rabbits are sacrificed at 6 and 24 h after injection and intravascular fluorescence spectroscopy is carried out by fiber-based fluorimetry in intact blood-filled arteries. Surface spectrofluorimetry of numbered excised aortic segments together with injured and normal iliac arteries is carried out, and quantified ce6 content by subsequent extraction and quantitative fluorescence determination of the arterial segments and also of nontarget organs. There is good agreement between the various techniques for quantifying ce6 localization, and high contrast between arteries from atherosclerotic and normal rabbits is obtained. Fluorescence correlates with the highest burden of plaque in the aorta and the injured iliac artery. The highest accumulation in plaques is obtained using MA-ce6 at 24 h. Free ce6 gives better accumulation at 6 h compared to 24 h. The liver, spleen, lung, and gall bladder have the highest uptake in nontarget organs. Macrophage-targeted photosensitizer conjugates may have applications in both detecting and treating inflamed vulnerable plaque.

  10. A tyrosine PEG-micelle magnetic resonance contrast agent for the detection of lipid rich areas in atherosclerotic plaque

    PubMed Central

    Beilvert, Anne; Cormode, David P.; Chaubet, Frédéric; Briley-Saebo, Karen C.; Mani, Venkatesh; Mulder, Willem J.M.; Vucic, Esad; Toussaint, Jean-François; Letourneur, Didier; Fayad, Zahi A.

    2010-01-01

    Vulnerable or high-risk atherosclerotic plaques often exhibit large lipid cores and thin fibrous caps that can lead to deadly vascular events via their rupture. In this study, PEG-micelles that incorporate a Gd-DTPA amphiphile were used as an MR contrast agent. In an approach inspired by lipoproteins, the micelles were functionalized with tyrosine residues, an aromatic, lipophilic amino acid, to reach the lipid rich areas of atherosclerotic plaque in a highly efficient manner. These micelles were applied to apolipoprotein E −/− mice as a model of atherosclerosis. The abdominal aortas of the animals were imaged using T1-weighted high-resolution MRI at 9.4 T before and up to 48 hours after the administration of the micelles. PEG-micelles modified with 15% tyrosine residues, yielded a significant enhancement of the abdominal aortic wall at 6 and 24 hours post-injection as compared to unmodified micelles. Fluorescence microscopy on histological sections of the abdominal aorta showed a correlation between lipid rich areas and the distribution of the functionalized contrast agent in plaque. Using a simple approach, we demonstrated that lipid-rich areas in atherosclerotic plaque of ApoE −/− mice can be detected by MRI using Gd-DTPA micelles. PMID:19780153

  11. Tissue prolapse and stresses in stented coronary arteries: A computer model for multi-layer atherosclerotic plaque.

    PubMed

    Hajiali, Zuned; Dabagh, Mahsa; Debusschere, Nic; De Beule, Matthieu; Jalali, Payman

    2015-11-01

    Among the many factors influencing the effectiveness of cardiovascular stents, tissue prolapse indicates the potential of a stent to cause restenosis. The deflection of the arterial wall between the struts of the stent and the tissue is known as a prolapse or draping. The prolapse is associated with injury and damage to the vessel wall due to the high stresses generated around the stent when it expands. The current study investigates the impact of stenosis severity and plaque morphology on prolapse in stented coronary arteries. A finite element method is applied for the stent, plaque, and artery set to quantify the tissue prolapse and the corresponding stresses in stenosed coronary arteries. The variable size of atherosclerotic plaques is considered. A plaque is modelled as a multi-layered medium with different thicknesses attached to the single layer of an arterial wall. The results reveal that the tissue prolapse is influenced by the degree of stenosis severity and the thickness of the plaque layers. Stresses are observed to be significantly different between the plaque layers and the arterial wall tissue. Higher stresses are concentrated in fibrosis layer of the plaque (the harder core), while lower stresses are observed in necrotic core (the softer core) and the arterial wall layer. Moreover, the morphology of the plaque regulates the magnitude and distribution of the stress. The fibrous cap between the necrotic core and the endothelium constitutes the most influential layer to alter the stresses. In addition, the thickness of the necrotic core and the stenosis severity affect the stresses. This study reveals that the morphology of atherosclerotic plaques needs to be considered a key parameter in designing coronary stents.

  12. Identifying Vulnerable Atherosclerotic Plaque in Rabbits Using DMSA-USPIO Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Investigate the Effect of Atorvastatin

    PubMed Central

    Li, Dongye; Wu, Weiheng; Gong, Lei; Li, Yong; Zhang, Qingdui; Zhang, Tao; Zhang, Chao; Zhang, Yu

    2015-01-01

    Background Rupture of an atherosclerotic plaque is the primary cause of acute cardiovascular and cerebrovascular syndromes. Early and non-invasive detection of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques (VP) would be significant in preventing some aspects of these syndromes. As a new contrast agent, dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) modified ultra-small super paramagnetic iron oxide (USPIO) was synthesized and used to identify VP and rupture plaque by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Methods Atherosclerosis was induced in male New Zealand White rabbits by feeding a high cholesterol diet (n = 30). Group A with atherosclerosis plaque (n = 10) were controls. VP was established in groups B (n = 10) and C (n = 10) using balloon-induced endothelial injury of the abdominal aorta. Adenovirus-carrying p53 genes were injected into the aortic segments rich in plaques after 8 weeks. Group C was treated with atorvastatin for 8 weeks. Sixteen weeks later, all rabbits underwent pharmacological triggering, and imaging were taken daily for 5 d after DMSA-USPIO infusion. At the first day and before being killed, serum MMP-9, sCD40L, and other lipid indicators were measured. Results DMSA-USPIO particles accumulated in VP and rupture plaques. Rupture plaques appeared as areas of hyper-intensity on DMSA-USPIO enhanced MRI, especially T2*-weighted sequences, with a signal strength peaking at 96 h. The group given atorvastatin showed few DMSA-USPIO particles and had lower levels of serum indicators. MMP-9 and sCD40L levels in group B were significantly higher than in the other 2 groups (P <0.05). Conclusion After successfully establishing a VP model in rabbits, DMSA-USPIO was used to enhance MRI for clear identification of plaque inflammation and rupture. Rupture plaques were detectable in this way probably due to an activating inflammatory process. Atorvastatin reduced the inflammatory response and stabilizing VP possibly by decreasing MMP-9 and sCD40L levels. PMID:25973795

  13. In Vivo Detection of Activated Platelets Allows Characterizing Rupture of Atherosclerotic Plaques with Molecular Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Wiens, Kristina; Neudorfer, Irene; Zirlik, Andreas; Meissner, Mirko; Tilly, Peg; Charles, Anne-Laure; Bode, Christoph; Peter, Karlheinz; Fabre, Jean-Etienne

    2012-01-01

    Background Early and non-invasive detection of platelets on micro atherothrombosis provides a means to identify unstable plaque and thereby allowing prophylactic treatment towards prevention of stroke or myocardial infarction. Molecular magnetic resonance imaging (mMRI) of activated platelets as early markers of plaque rupture using targeted contrast agents is a promising strategy. In this study, we aim to specifically image activated platelets in murine atherothrombosis by in vivo mMRI, using a dedicated animal model of plaque rupture. Methods An antibody targeting ligand-induced binding sites (LIBS) on the glycoprotein IIb/IIIa-receptor of activated platelets was conjugated to microparticles of iron oxide (MPIO) to form the LIBS-MPIO contrast agent causing a signal-extinction in T2*-weighted MRI. ApoE−/− mice (60 weeks-old) were fed a high fat diet for 5 weeks. Using a small needle, the surface of their carotid plaques was scratched under blood flow to induce atherothrombosis. In vivo 9.4 Tesla MRI was performed before and repetitively after intravenous injection of either LIBS-MPIO versus non-targeted-MPIO. Results LIBS-MPIO injected animals showed a significant signal extinction (p<0.05) in MRI, corresponding to the site of plaque rupture and atherothrombosis in histology. The signal attenuation was effective for atherothrombosis occupying ≥2% of the vascular lumen. Histology further confirmed significant binding of LIBS-MPIO compared to control-MPIO on the thrombus developing on the surface of ruptured plaques (p<0.01). Conclusion in vivo mMRI detected activated platelets on mechanically ruptured atherosclerotic plaques in ApoE−/− mice with a high sensititvity. This imaging technology represents a unique opportunity for noninvasive detection of atherothrombosis and the identification of unstable atherosclerotic plaques with the ultimate promise to prevent strokes and myocardial infarctions. PMID:23028736

  14. Suxiaojiuxin pill enhances atherosclerotic plaque stability by modulating the MMPs/TIMPs balance in ApoE-deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jinbao; Zhuang, Pengwei; Lu, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Mixia; Zhang, Teng; Zhang, Yanjun; Wang, Jinlei; Liu, Dan; Tong, Yongling

    2014-08-01

    : Suxiaojiuxin pill (SX) is a famous Chinese formulated product, which has been used to treat coronary heart disease and angina pectoris in China. This study was carried out to investigate the effect and possible mechanism of SX on the stability of atherosclerotic plaque in ApoE-deficient mice. ApoE-/- mice of 6-8 weeks old were fed with high-fat diet for developing artherosclerosis. After oral administration of SX for 8 weeks, histopathology of aortic plaque was performed by Sudan III and hematoxylin-eosin staining, and muscle protein was detected by Western blotting (WB). The mRNA and proteins associated with aortic plaque stability were detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and WB, respectively. SX treatment could not only reduce serum triglyceride level and plaque area but also increase fibrous cap thickness and collagen content compared with the model group. WB results showed that SX could increase α-smooth muscle actin, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP-1), and TIMP-2 protein expression, whereas decrease matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) and MMP-9 protein expression. Moreover, SX could upregulate the expression of α-smooth muscle actin mRNA and downregulate the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor mRNA. These results showed that SX could enhance atherosclerotic plaque stability in ApoE-deficient mice. The mechanism may be associated with modulating the MMPs/TIMPs balance.

  15. Mechanism of ceroid formation in atherosclerotic plaque: in situ studies using a combination of Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haka, Abigail S.; Kramer, John R.; Dasari, Ramachandra R.; Fitzmaurice, Maryann

    2011-01-01

    Accumulation of the lipid-protein complex ceroid is a characteristic of atherosclerotic plaque. The mechanism of ceroid formation has been extensively studied, because the complex is postulated to contribute to plaque irreversibility. Despite intensive research, ceroid deposits are defined through their fluorescence and histochemical staining properties, while their composition remains unknown. Using Raman and fluorescence spectral microscopy, we examine the composition of ceroid in situ in aorta and coronary artery plaque. The synergy of these two types of spectroscopy allows for identification of ceroid via its fluorescence signature and elucidation of its chemical composition through the acquisition of a Raman spectrum. In accordance with in vitro predictions, low density lipoprotein (LDL) appears within the deposits primarily in its peroxidized form. The main forms of modified LDL detected in both coronary artery and aortic plaques are peroxidation products from the Fenton reaction and myeloperoxidase-hypochlorite pathway. These two peroxidation products occur in similar concentrations within the deposits and represent ~40 and 30% of the total LDL (native and peroxidized) in the aorta and coronary artery deposits, respectively. To our knowledge, this study is the first to successfully employ Raman spectroscopy to unravel a metabolic pathway involved in disease pathogenesis: the formation of ceroid in atherosclerotic plaque.

  16. Cadmium exposure and atherosclerotic carotid plaques –Results from the Malmö diet and Cancer study

    SciTech Connect

    Fagerberg, Björn; Barregard, Lars; Sallsten, Gerd; Forsgard, Niklas; Östling, Gerd; Persson, Margaretha; Borné, Yan; and others

    2015-01-15

    Background: Epidemiological studies indicate that cadmium exposure through diet and smoking is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. There are few data on the relationship between cadmium and plaques, the hallmark of underlying atherosclerotic disease. Objectives: To examine the association between exposure to cadmium and the prevalence and size of atherosclerotic plaques in the carotid artery. Methods: A population sample of 4639 Swedish middle-aged women and men was examined in 1991–1994. Carotid plaque was determined by B-mode ultrasound. Cadmium in blood was analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Results: Comparing quartile 4 with quartile 1 of blood cadmium, the odds ratio (OR) for prevalence of any plaque was 1.9 (95% confidence interval 1.6–2.2) after adjustment for sex and, age; 1.4 (1.1–1.8) after additional adjustment for smoking status; 1.4 (1.1–1.7) after the addition of education level and life style factors; 1.3 (1.03–1.8) after additional adjustment for risk factors and predictors of cardiovascular disease. No effect modification by sex was found in the cadmium-related prevalence of plaques. Similarly, ORs for the prevalence of small and large plaques were after full adjustment 1.4 (1.0–2.1) and 1.4 (0.9–2.0), respectively. The subgroup of never smokers showed no association between cadmium and atherosclerotic plaques. Conclusions: These results extend previous studies on cadmium exposure and clinical cardiovascular events by adding data on the association between cadmium and underlying atherosclerosis in humans. The role of smoking remains unclear. It may both cause residual confounding and be a source of pro-atherogenic cadmium exposure. - Highlights: • Blood cadmium level is associated with atherosclerotic plaques in the carotid artery. • The results extend previous knowledge of cadmium exposure and clinical events. • The role of smoking remains unclear.

  17. Non-invasive imaging of atherosclerotic plaque macrophage in a rabbit model with F-18 FDG PET: a histopathological correlation

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhuangyu; Machac, Josef; Helft, Gerard; Worthley, Stephen G; Tang, Cheuk; Zaman, Azfar G; Rodriguez, Oswaldo J; Buchsbaum, Monte S; Fuster, Valentin; Badimon, Juan J

    2006-01-01

    Background Coronary atherosclerosis and its thrombotic complications are the major cause of mortality and morbidity throughout the industrialized world. Thrombosis on disrupted atherosclerotic plaques plays a key role in the onset of acute coronary syndromes. Macrophages density is one of the most critical compositions of plaque in both plaque vulnerability and thrombogenicity upon rupture. It has been shown that macrophages have a high uptake of 18F-FDG (FDG). We studied the correlation of FDG uptake with histopathological macrophage accumulation in atherosclerotic plaques in a rabbit model. Methods Atherosclerosis was induced in rabbits (n = 6) by a combination of atherogenic diet and balloon denudation of the aorta. PET imaging was performed at baseline and 2 months after atherogenic diet and coregistered with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Normal (n = 3) rabbits served as controls. FDG uptake by the thoracic aorta was expressed as concentration (μCi/ml) and the ratio of aortic uptake-to-blood radioactivity. FDG uptake and RAM-11 antibody positive areas were analyzed in descending aorta. Results Atherosclerotic aortas showed significantly higher uptake of FDG than normal aortas. The correlation of aortic FDG uptake with macrophage areas assessed by histopathology was statistically significant although it was not high (r = 0.48, p < 0.0001). When uptake was expressed as the ratio of aortic uptake-to-blood activity, it correlated better (r = 0.80, p < 0.0001) with the macrophage areas, due to the correction for residual blood FDG activity. Conclusion PET FDG activity correlated with macrophage content within aortic atherosclerosis. This imaging approach might serve as a useful non-invasive imaging technique and potentially permit monitoring of relative changes in inflammation within the atherosclerotic lesion. PMID:16725052

  18. Inhibition of lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 reduces complex coronary atherosclerotic plaque development

    PubMed Central

    Wilensky, Robert L; Shi, Yi; Mohler, Emile R; Hamamdzic, Damir; Burgert, Mark E; Li, Jun; Postle, Anthony; Fenning, Robert S; Bollinger, James G; Hoffman, Bryan E; Pelchovitz, Daniel J; Yang, Jisheng; Mirabile, Rosanna C; Webb, Christine L; Zhang, LeFeng; Zhang, Ping; Gelb, Michael H; Walker, Max C; Zalewski, Andrew; Macphee, Colin H

    2010-01-01

    Increased lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) activity is associated with increased risk of cardiac events, but it is not known whether Lp-PLA2 is a causative agent. Here we show that selective inhibition of Lp-PLA2 with darapladib reduced development of advanced coronary atherosclerosis in diabetic and hypercholesterolemic swine. Darapladib markedly inhibited plasma and lesion Lp-PLA2 activity and reduced lesion lysophosphatidylcholine content. Analysis of coronary gene expression showed that darapladib exerted a general anti-inflammatory action, substantially reducing the expression of 24 genes associated with macrophage and T lymphocyte functioning. Darapladib treatment resulted in a considerable decrease in plaque area and, notably, a markedly reduced necrotic core area and reduced medial destruction, resulting in fewer lesions with an unstable phenotype. These data show that selective inhibition of Lp-PLA2 inhibits progression to advanced coronary atherosclerotic lesions and confirms a crucial role of vascular inflammation independent from hypercholesterolemia in the development of lesions implicated in the pathogenesis of myocardial infarction and stroke. PMID:18806801

  19. The myth of the "vulnerable plaque": transitioning from a focus on individual lesions to atherosclerotic disease burden for coronary artery disease risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Arbab-Zadeh, Armin; Fuster, Valentin

    2015-03-01

    The cardiovascular science community has pursued the quest to identify vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque in patients for decades, hoping to prevent acute coronary events. However, despite major advancements in imaging technology that allow visualization of rupture-prone plaques, clinical studies have not demonstrated improved risk prediction compared with traditional approaches. Considering the complex relationship between plaque rupture and acute coronary event risk suggested by pathology studies and confirmed by clinical investigations, these results are not surprising. This review summarizes the evidence supporting a multifaceted hypothesis of the natural history of atherosclerotic plaque rupture. Managing patients at risk of acute coronary events mandates a greater focus on the atherosclerotic disease burden rather than on features of individual plaques. PMID:25601032

  20. Analysis of the Usefulness of Optical Coherence Tomography and Intravascular Ultrasonography for the Examination of Rabbit Atherosclerotic Plaques.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Huawei; Zhang, Shanchun; Wang, Peng; Wang, Jinda; Yi, Guiyan; Zhou, Ying; Chen, Yundai

    2016-03-01

    In the present study, we aimed to establish a rabbit atherosclerosis model and examine atherosclerotic plaques by using optical coherence tomography (OCT) and intravascular ultrasonography (IVUS) to evaluate the clinical usefulness of these diagnostic tools in the detection of atherosclerotic plaques. Twenty healthy New Zealand rabbits were fed on a high-fat diet for 4 weeks and then subjected to abdominal aortic intimal injury. The OCT and IVUS were performed after 8 weeks. The distal and proximal plaque images were marked to observe the plaque thickness and features of the lesions at the tunica intima and tunica media. Moreover, a pathological examination was performed to evaluate the efficacies of OCT and IVUS. The mean (SD) plaque thickness on OCT and IVUS images was 386.5 (125.3) μm and 412.7 (165.8) μm, respectively. Pathological examinations indicated a mean (SD) plaque thickness of 360.2 (98.l) μm (P > 0.05). No significant differences were noted between the 2 methods. The intimal and medial thickness measured with OCT showed greater correlation with pathologically measured thickness (r = 0.95, P < 0.001 for OCT; r = 0.88, P < 0.001 for IVUS); in particular, the intimal thickness measurements on OCT showed a higher correlation (r = 0.98, P < 0.001). However, the measurements obtained using IVUS were not accurate. Thus, compared with IVUS, OCT was more accurate in determining the nature and thickness of vascular plaques. PMID:26561217

  1. An imbalance between specialized pro-resolving lipid mediators and pro-inflammatory leukotrienes promotes instability of atherosclerotic plaques

    PubMed Central

    Fredman, Gabrielle; Hellmann, Jason; Proto, Jonathan D.; Kuriakose, George; Colas, Romain A.; Dorweiler, Bernhard; Connolly, E. Sander; Solomon, Robert; Jones, David M.; Heyer, Eric J.; Spite, Matthew; Tabas, Ira

    2016-01-01

    Chronic unresolved inflammation plays a causal role in the development of advanced atherosclerosis, but the mechanisms that prevent resolution in atherosclerosis remain unclear. Here, we use targeted mass spectrometry to identify specialized pro-resolving lipid mediators (SPM) in histologically-defined stable and vulnerable regions of human carotid atherosclerotic plaques. The levels of SPMs, particularly resolvin D1 (RvD1), and the ratio of SPMs to pro-inflammatory leukotriene B4 (LTB4), are significantly decreased in the vulnerable regions. SPMs are also decreased in advanced plaques of fat-fed Ldlr−/− mice. Administration of RvD1 to these mice during plaque progression restores the RvD1:LTB4 ratio to that of less advanced lesions and promotes plaque stability, including decreased lesional oxidative stress and necrosis, improved lesional efferocytosis, and thicker fibrous caps. These findings provide molecular support for the concept that defective inflammation resolution contributes to the formation of clinically dangerous plaques and offer a mechanistic rationale for SPM therapy to promote plaque stability. PMID:27659679

  2. SPECT/CT Imaging of High-Risk Atherosclerotic Plaques using Integrin-Binding RGD Dimer Peptides.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Jung Sun; Lee, Jonghwan; Jung, Jae Ho; Moon, Byung Seok; Kim, Soonhag; Lee, Byung Chul; Kim, Sang Eun

    2015-06-30

    Vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques with unique biological signatures are responsible for most major cardiovascular events including acute myocardial infarction and stroke. However, current clinical diagnostic approaches for atherosclerosis focus on anatomical measurements such as the degree of luminal stenosis and wall thickness. An abundance of neovessels with elevated expression of integrin αvβ3 is closely associated with an increased risk of plaque rupture. Herein we evaluated the potential of an αvβ3 integrin-targeting radiotracer, (99m)Tc-IDA-D-[c(RGDfK)]2, for SPECT/CT imaging of high-risk plaque in murine atherosclerosis models. In vivo uptake of (99m)Tc-IDA-D-[c(RGDfK)]2 was significantly higher in atherosclerotic aortas than in relatively normal aortas. Comparison with the negative-control peptide, (99m)Tc-IDA-D-[c(RADfK)]2, proved specific binding of (99m)Tc-IDA-D-[c(RGDfK)]2 for plaque lesions in in vivo SPECT/CT and ex vivo autoradiographic imaging. Histopathological characterization revealed that a prominent SPECT signal of (99m)Tc-IDA-D-[c(RGDfK)]2 corresponded to the presence of high-risk plaques with a large necrotic core, a thin fibrous cap, and vibrant neoangiogenic events. Notably, the RGD dimer based (99m)Tc-IDA-D-[c(RGDfK)]2 showed better imaging performance in comparison with the common monomeric RGD peptide probe (123)I-c(RGDyV) and fluorescence tissue assay corroborated this. Our preclinical data demonstrated that (99m)Tc-IDA-D-[c(RGDfK)]2 SPECT/CT is a sensitive tool to noninvasively gauge atherosclerosis beyond vascular anatomy by assessing culprit plaque neovascularization.

  3. SPECT/CT Imaging of High-Risk Atherosclerotic Plaques using Integrin-Binding RGD Dimer Peptides

    PubMed Central

    Sun Yoo, Jung; Lee, Jonghwan; Ho Jung, Jae; Seok Moon, Byung; Kim, Soonhag; Chul Lee, Byung; Eun Kim, Sang

    2015-01-01

    Vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques with unique biological signatures are responsible for most major cardiovascular events including acute myocardial infarction and stroke. However, current clinical diagnostic approaches for atherosclerosis focus on anatomical measurements such as the degree of luminal stenosis and wall thickness. An abundance of neovessels with elevated expression of integrin αvβ3 is closely associated with an increased risk of plaque rupture. Herein we evaluated the potential of an αvβ3 integrin-targeting radiotracer, 99mTc-IDA-D-[c(RGDfK)]2, for SPECT/CT imaging of high-risk plaque in murine atherosclerosis models. In vivo uptake of 99mTc-IDA-D-[c(RGDfK)]2 was significantly higher in atherosclerotic aortas than in relatively normal aortas. Comparison with the negative-control peptide, 99mTc-IDA-D-[c(RADfK)]2, proved specific binding of 99mTc-IDA-D-[c(RGDfK)]2 for plaque lesions in in vivo SPECT/CT and ex vivo autoradiographic imaging. Histopathological characterization revealed that a prominent SPECT signal of 99mTc-IDA-D-[c(RGDfK)]2 corresponded to the presence of high-risk plaques with a large necrotic core, a thin fibrous cap, and vibrant neoangiogenic events. Notably, the RGD dimer based 99mTc-IDA-D-[c(RGDfK)]2 showed better imaging performance in comparison with the common monomeric RGD peptide probe 123I-c(RGDyV) and fluorescence tissue assay corroborated this. Our preclinical data demonstrated that 99mTc-IDA-D-[c(RGDfK)]2 SPECT/CT is a sensitive tool to noninvasively gauge atherosclerosis beyond vascular anatomy by assessing culprit plaque neovascularization. PMID:26123253

  4. Selective removal of cholesteryl ester in atherosclerotic plaque by nanosecond pulsed laser at 5.75 μm for less-invasive laser angioplasty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishii, Katsunori; Tsukimoto, Hideki; Hazama, Hisanao; Awazu, Kunio

    2009-02-01

    Laser angioplasty, for example XeCl excimer laser coronary angioplasty (ELCA), has gained more attention for the treatment of serious stenosis blocked by plaque. Low degrees of thermal damage after ablation of atherosclerotic plaques have been achieved by ELCA. However, the large number of risks associated with the procedure, for example, dissections or perforations of the coronary arteries limits its application. A laser treatment technique with high ablation efficiency but low arterial wall injury is desirable. Mid-infrared laser with a wavelength of 5.75 µm is selectively well absorbed in C=O stretching vibration mode of ester bonds in cholesteryl ester. The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of nanosecond pulsed laser at 5.75 µm irradiation for atherosclerotic plaques. We made a study on the irradiation effect to atherosclerotic plaques in tunica intima in a wet condition. In this study, we used a mid-infrared tunable solid-state laser which is operated by difference-frequency generation, with a wavelength of 5.75 µm, a pulse width of 5 ns and a pulse duration of 10 Hz as a treatment light source, and a thoracic aorta of WHHLMI rabbit as an atherosclerosis model. As a result, less-invasive interaction parameters for removing atherosclerotic plaques were confirmed. This study shows that the nanosecond pulsed laser irradiation at 5.75 µm is a powerful tool for selective and less-invasive treatment of atherosclerotic plaques.

  5. Selective removal of atherosclerotic plaque with a quantum cascade laser in the 5.7 µm wavelength range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hashimura, Keisuke; Ishii, Katsunori; Awazu, Kunio

    2015-11-01

    Atherosclerotic plaques consist mainly of cholesteryl esters, and the C=O stretching vibration mode of cholesteryl esters strongly absorbs radiation at a wavelength of 5.75 µm. For clinical application of less-invasive laser angioplasty with 5.75 µm, a compact laser is required. Quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) are semiconductor lasers that can emit radiation in the mid-IR range. In this study, the potential of the QCL for less-invasive laser angioplasty was evaluated. At the average power density of 180 W/cm2, the atherosclerotic aorta was ablated for the irradiation time of 1 s or more, whereas the normal aorta was ablated for more than 10 s. This demonstrates that selective ablation of the atherosclerotic aorta was achieved. However, strong coagulation and carbonization were observed. For reducing thermal effects, improving the pulse structure is required. In conclusion, the QCL achieved the selective ablation of the atherosclerotic lesions, which indicates the potential of the QCL.

  6. The Complex Fate in Plasma of Gadolinium Incorporated into High-Density Lipoproteins Used for Magnetic Imaging of Atherosclerotic Plaques

    PubMed Central

    Barazza, Alessandra; Blachford, Courtney; Even-Or, Orli; Joaquin, Victor A.; Briley-Saebo, Karen C.; Chen, Wei; Jiang, Xian-Cheng; Mulder, Willem J. M.; Cormode, David P.; Fayad, Zahi A.; Fisher, Edward A.

    2014-01-01

    We have previously reported enhancing the imaging of atherosclerotic plaques in mice using reconstituted high density lipoproteins (HDL) as nanocarriers for the MRI contrast agent gadolinium (Gd). This study focuses on the underlying mechanisms of Gd delivery to atherosclerotic plaques. HDL, LDL, and VLDL particles containing Gd chelated to phosphatidyl ethanolamine (DTPA-DMPE) and a lipidic fluorophore were used to demonstrate the transfer of Gd-phospholipids among plasma lipoproteins in vitro and in vivo. To determine the basis of this transfer, the roles of phospholipid transfer protein (PLTP) and lipoprotein lipase (LpL) in mediating the migration of Gd-DTPA-DMPE among lipoproteins were investigated. The results indicated that neither was an important factor, suggesting that spontaneous transfer of Gd-DTPA-DMPE was the most probable mechanism. Finally, two independent mouse models were used to quantify the relative contributions of HDL and LDL reconstituted with Gd-DTPA-DMPE to plaque imaging enhancement by MR. Both sets of results suggested that Gd-DTPA-DMPE originally associated with LDL was about twice as effective as that injected in the form of Gd-HDL, and that some of Gd-HDL’s effectiveness in vivo is indirect through transfer of the imaging agent to LDL. In conclusion, the fate of Gd-DTPA-DMPE associated with a particular type of lipoprotein is complex, and includes its transfer to other lipoprotein species that are then cleared from the plasma into tissues. PMID:23617731

  7. Elevated expression of mechanosensory polycystins in human carotid atherosclerotic plaques: association with p53 activation and disease severity

    PubMed Central

    Varela, Aimilia; Piperi, Christina; Sigala, Fragiska; Agrogiannis, George; Davos, Constantinos H.; Andri, Maria-Anastasia; Manopoulos, Christos; Tsangaris, Sokrates; Basdra, Efthimia K.; Papavassiliou, Athanasios G.

    2015-01-01

    Atherosclerotic plaque formation is associated with irregular distribution of wall shear stress (WSS) that modulates endothelial function and integrity. Polycystins (PC)-1/-2 constitute a flow-sensing protein complex in endothelial cells, able to respond to WSS and induce cell-proliferation changes leading to atherosclerosis. An endothelial cell-culture system of measurable WSS was established to detect alterations in PCs expression under conditions of low- and high-oscillatory shear stress in vitro. PCs expression and p53 activation as a regulator of cell proliferation were further evaluated in vivo and in 69 advanced human carotid atherosclerotic plaques (AAPs). Increased PC-1/PC-2 expression was observed at 30–60 min of low shear stress (LSS) in endothelial cells. Elevated PC-1 expression at LSS was followed by p53 potentiation. PCs immunoreactivity localizes in areas with macrophage infiltration and neovascularization. PC-1 mRNA and protein levels were significantly higher than PC-2 in stable fibroatherotic (V) and unstable/complicated (VI) AAPs. Elevated PC-1 immunostaining was detected in AAPs from patients with diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, hypertension and carotid stenosis, at both arteries (50%) or in one artery (90%). PCs seem to participate in plaque formation and progression. Since PC-1 upregulation coincides with p38 and p53 activation, a potential interplay of these molecules in atherosclerosis induction is posed. PMID:26286632

  8. The Immune Response Is Involved in Atherosclerotic Plaque Calcification: Could the RANKL/RANK/OPG System Be a Marker of Plaque Instability?

    PubMed Central

    Montecucco, Fabrizio; Steffens, Sabine; Mach, François

    2007-01-01

    Atherogenesis is characterized by an intense inflammatory process, involving immune and vascular cells. These cells play a crucial role in all phases of atherosclerotic plaque formation and complication through cytokine, protease, and prothrombotic factor secretion. The accumulation of inflammatory cells and thus high amounts of soluble mediators are responsible for the evolution of some plaques to instable phenotype which may lead to rupture. One condition strongly associated with plaque rupture is calcification, a physiopathological process orchestrated by several soluble factors, including the receptor activator of nuclear factor (NF)κB ligand (RANKL)/receptor activator of nuclear factor (NF)κB (RANK)/osteoprotegerin (OPG) system. Although some studies showed some interesting correlations with acute ischemic events, at present, more evidences are needed to evaluate the predictive and diagnostic value of serum sRANKL and OPG levels for clinical use. The major limitation is probably the poor specificity of these factors for cardiovascular disease. The identification of tissue-specific isoforms could increase the importance of sRANKL and OPG in predicting calcified plaque rupture and the dramatic ischemic consequences in the brain and the heart. PMID:18320012

  9. 64Cu-Labeled LyP-1-Dendrimer for PET-CT Imaging of Atherosclerotic Plaque

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The ability to detect and quantify macrophage accumulation can provide important diagnostic and prognostic information for atherosclerotic plaque. We have previously shown that LyP-1, a cyclic 9-amino acid peptide, binds to p32 proteins on activated macrophages, facilitating the visualization of atherosclerotic plaque with PET. Yet, the in vivo plaque accumulation of monomeric [18F]FBA-LyP-1 was low (0.31 ± 0.05%ID/g). To increase the avidity of LyP-1 constructs to p32, we synthesized a dendritic form of LyP-1 on solid phase using lysine as the core structural element. Imaging probes (FAM or 6-BAT) were conjugated to a lysine or cysteine on the dendrimer for optical and PET studies. The N-terminus of the dendrimer was further modified with an aminooxy group in order to conjugate LyP-1 and ARAL peptides bearing a ketone. Oxime ligation of peptides to both dendrimers resulted in (LyP-1)4- and (ARAL)4-dendrimers with optical (FAM) and PET probes (6-BAT). For PET-CT studies, (LyP-1)4- and (ARAL)4-dendrimer-6-BAT were labeled with 64Cu (t1/2 = 12.7 h) and intravenously injected into the atherosclerotic (ApoE–/–) mice. After two hours of circulation, PET-CT coregistered images demonstrated greater uptake of the (LyP-1)4-dendrimer-64Cu than the (ARAL)4-dendrimer-64Cu in the aortic root and descending aorta. Ex vivo images and the biodistribution acquired at three hours after injection also demonstrated a significantly higher uptake of the (LyP-1)4-dendrimer-64Cu (1.1 ± 0.26%ID/g) than the (ARAL)4-dendrimer-64Cu (0.22 ± 0.05%ID/g) in the aorta. Similarly, subcutaneous injection of the LyP-1-dendrimeric carriers resulted in preferential accumulation in plaque-containing regions over 24 h. In the same model system, ex vivo fluorescence images within aortic plaque depict an increased accumulation and penetration of the (LyP-1)4-dendrimer-FAM as compared to the (ARAL)4-dendrimer-FAM. Taken together, the results suggest that the (LyP-1)4-dendrimer can be applied for in

  10. Supplementation of the black rice outer layer fraction to rabbits decreases atherosclerotic plaque formation and increases antioxidant status.

    PubMed

    Ling, Wen Hua; Wang, Lin Llin; Ma, Jing

    2002-01-01

    The influence of the supplementation of black and white rice outer layer fractions on atherosclerotic plaque formation induced by hypercholesterolemia was investigated in rabbits. Male rabbits (n = 32) were randomly divided into four groups. They were fed nonpurified diet (normal group), a lard (3.5 g/100 g) with high cholesterol (0.5 g/100 g) diet (HC group); the HC diet with 5 g/100 g white rice outer layer fraction (WRF group); or the HC diet with 5 g/100 g black rice outer layer fraction (BRF) for 2 mo. Blood samples were collected for determination of lipid concentration and oxidative and antioxidative status variables, and aortae were taken for the assessment of atherosclerotic plaques. The atherosclerotic plaque area in rabbits fed the BRF diet was 66% lower than that of the HC or WRF rabbits (P < 0.001). Supplementation of the black rice outer layer significantly (P < 0.05) lowered aortic 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) (-52%, -44%) compared with the WRF or HC diets (P < 0.05). There were no differences in aortic 8-OHdG levels between rabbits fed the BRF and normal diets. The BRF diet significantly (P < 0.05) decreased the malondialdehyde (MDA) level of serum (-37%) and aortic artery (-50%) compared with the WRF diet. There were no differences in the concentrations of serum total cholesterol (TC), LDL cholesterol (LDL-C), HDL-C or the ratio of apoprotein (apo)I/apoB among the HC, WRF and BRF groups. Similarly, there were no differences in the serum vitamin E concentration and erythrocyte and aorta superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities among rabbits fed these diets. The serum concentration of most fatty acids except 18:1 did not differ between the WRF and the BRF groups. We conclude that the inhibition of atherosclerotic plaque formation derived from the black rice outer layer fraction in rabbits might be mediated by antioxidative or anti-inflammatory effects. PMID:11773502

  11. Dual-wavelength multifrequency photothermal wave imaging combined with optical coherence tomography for macrophage and lipid detection in atherosclerotic plaques using gold nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Tianyi; Jacob Mancuso, J.; Sapozhnikova, Veronika; Dwelle, Jordan; Ma, Li L.; Willsey, Brian; Shams Kazmi, S. M.; Qiu, Jinze; Li, Xiankai; Asmis, Reto; Johnston, Keith P.; Feldman, Marc D.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract. The objective of this study was to assess the ability of combined photothermal wave (PTW) imaging and optical coherence tomography (OCT) to detect, and further characterize the distribution of macrophages (having taken up plasmonic gold nanorose as a contrast agent) and lipid deposits in atherosclerotic plaques. Aortas with atherosclerotic plaques were harvested from nine male New Zealand white rabbits divided into nanorose- and saline-injected groups and were imaged by dual-wavelength (800 and 1210 nm) multifrequency (0.1, 1 and 4 Hz) PTW imaging in combination with OCT. Amplitude PTW images suggest that lateral and depth distribution of nanorose-loaded macrophages (confirmed by two-photon luminescence microscopy and RAM-11 macrophage stain) and lipid deposits can be identified at selected modulation frequencies. Radiometric temperature increase and modulation amplitude of superficial nanoroses in response to 4 Hz laser irradiation (800 nm) were significantly higher than native plaque (P<0.001). Amplitude PTW images (4 Hz) were merged into a coregistered OCT image, suggesting that superficial nanorose-loaded macrophages are distributed at shoulders on the upstream side of atherosclerotic plaques (P<0.001) at edges of lipid deposits. Results suggest that combined PTW-OCT imaging can simultaneously reveal plaque structure and composition, permitting characterization of nanorose-loaded macrophages and lipid deposits in atherosclerotic plaques. PMID:22502567

  12. Three-dimensional dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI for the accurate, extensive quantification of microvascular permeability in atherosclerotic plaques.

    PubMed

    Calcagno, Claudia; Lobatto, Mark E; Dyvorne, Hadrien; Robson, Philip M; Millon, Antoine; Senders, Max L; Lairez, Olivier; Ramachandran, Sarayu; Coolen, Bram F; Black, Alexandra; Mulder, Willem J M; Fayad, Zahi A

    2015-10-01

    Atherosclerotic plaques that cause stroke and myocardial infarction are characterized by increased microvascular permeability and inflammation. Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) has been proposed as a method to quantify vessel wall microvascular permeability in vivo. Until now, most DCE-MRI studies of atherosclerosis have been limited to two-dimensional (2D) multi-slice imaging. Although providing the high spatial resolution required to image the arterial vessel wall, these approaches do not allow the quantification of plaque permeability with extensive anatomical coverage, an essential feature when imaging heterogeneous diseases, such as atherosclerosis. To our knowledge, we present the first systematic evaluation of three-dimensional (3D), high-resolution, DCE-MRI for the extensive quantification of plaque permeability along an entire vascular bed, with validation in atherosclerotic rabbits. We compare two acquisitions: 3D turbo field echo (TFE) with motion-sensitized-driven equilibrium (MSDE) preparation and 3D turbo spin echo (TSE). We find 3D TFE DCE-MRI to be superior to 3D TSE DCE-MRI in terms of temporal stability metrics. Both sequences show good intra- and inter-observer reliability, and significant correlation with ex vivo permeability measurements by Evans Blue near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF). In addition, we explore the feasibility of using compressed sensing to accelerate 3D DCE-MRI of atherosclerosis, to improve its temporal resolution and therefore the accuracy of permeability quantification. Using retrospective under-sampling and reconstructions, we show that compressed sensing alone may allow the acceleration of 3D DCE-MRI by up to four-fold. We anticipate that the development of high-spatial-resolution 3D DCE-MRI with prospective compressed sensing acceleration may allow for the more accurate and extensive quantification of atherosclerotic plaque permeability along an entire vascular bed. We foresee that this approach may allow for

  13. Aortic atherosclerotic plaque detection using a multiwavelength handheld photoacoustic imaging system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirano, Susumu; Namita, Takeshi; Kondo, Kengo; Yamakawa, Makoto; Shiina, Tsuyoshi

    2016-03-01

    Patients affected by diseases caused by arteriosclerosis are increasing. Atherosclerosis, which is becoming an especially difficult health problem, forms plaques from lipids such as cholesterol located in walls of the aorta, cerebral artery, and coronary artery. Because lipid-rich plaques are vulnerable and because arterial rupture causes acute vascular occlusion, early detection is crucially important to prevent plaque growth and rupture. Ultrasound systems can detect plaques but cannot discriminate between vulnerable and equable plaques. To evaluate plaques non-invasively and easily, we developed a handheld photoacoustic imaging device. Its usefulness was verified in phantom experiments with a bovine aorta in which mimic plaque had been embedded. Photoacoustic images taken at wavelengths that produce high light absorbance by lipids show strong photoacoustic signals from the boundary of the mimic plaque. Results confirmed that our system can evaluate plaque properties by analysis with the photoacoustic spectrum. The effects of surrounding tissues and tissue components on plaque evaluation were investigated using a layered phantom. The mimic plaque located under a 6 mm blood layer was also evaluated. Results of these analyses demonstrate the system's usefulness.

  14. KLF4-dependent phenotypic modulation of smooth muscle cells has a key role in atherosclerotic plaque pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Shankman, Laura S; Gomez, Delphine; Cherepanova, Olga A; Salmon, Morgan; Alencar, Gabriel F; Haskins, Ryan M; Swiatlowska, Pamela; Newman, Alexandra A C; Greene, Elizabeth S; Straub, Adam C; Isakson, Brant; Randolph, Gwendalyn J; Owens, Gary K

    2015-06-01

    Previous studies investigating the role of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and macrophages in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis have provided controversial results owing to the use of unreliable methods for clearly identifying each of these cell types. Here, using Myh11-CreER(T2) ROSA floxed STOP eYFP Apoe(-/-) mice to perform SMC lineage tracing, we find that traditional methods for detecting SMCs based on immunostaining for SMC markers fail to detect >80% of SMC-derived cells within advanced atherosclerotic lesions. These unidentified SMC-derived cells exhibit phenotypes of other cell lineages, including macrophages and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). SMC-specific conditional knockout of Krüppel-like factor 4 (Klf4) resulted in reduced numbers of SMC-derived MSC- and macrophage-like cells, a marked reduction in lesion size, and increases in multiple indices of plaque stability, including an increase in fibrous cap thickness as compared to wild-type controls. On the basis of in vivo KLF4 chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing (ChIP-seq) analyses and studies of cholesterol-treated cultured SMCs, we identified >800 KLF4 target genes, including many that regulate pro-inflammatory responses of SMCs. Our findings indicate that the contribution of SMCs to atherosclerotic plaques has been greatly underestimated, and that KLF4-dependent transitions in SMC phenotype are critical in lesion pathogenesis.

  15. Dual-Energy Computed Tomography Imaging of Atherosclerotic Plaques in a Mouse Model Using a Liposomal-Iodine Nanoparticle Contrast Agent

    PubMed Central

    Bhavane, Rohan; Badea, Cristian; Ghaghada, Ketan B.; Clark, Darin; Vela, Deborah; Moturu, Anoosha; Annapragada, Akshaya; Johnson, G. Allan; Willerson, James T.; Annapragada, Ananth

    2013-01-01

    Background The accumulation of macrophages in inflamed atherosclerotic plaques has been long recognized. In an attempt to develop an imaging agent for detection of vulnerable plaques, we evaluated the feasibility of a liposomal-iodine nanoparticle contrast agent for computed tomography (CT) imaging of macrophage-rich atherosclerotic plaques in a mouse model. Methods and Results Liposomal-iodine formulations varying in particle size and polyethylene glycol coating were fabricated, and shown to stably encapsulate the iodine compound. In vitro uptake studies using optical and CT imaging in the RAW264.7 macrophage cell line identified the formulation that promoted maximal uptake. Dual-energy CT imaging using this formulation in Apolipoprotein E deficient (ApoE−/−) mice (n=8) and control C57BL/6 mice (n=6) followed by spectral decomposition of the dual-energy images enabled imaging of the liposomes localized in the plaque. Imaging cytometry confirmed the presence of liposomes in the plaque and their co-localization with a small fraction (~2%) of the macrophages in the plaque. Conclusions The results demonstrate the feasibility of imaging macrophage-rich atherosclerotic plaques using a liposomal-iodine nanoparticle contrast agent and dual-energy CT. PMID:23349231

  16. Ticagrelor promotes atherosclerotic plaque stability in a mouse model of advanced atherosclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Preusch, Michael R; Rusnak, Jonas; Staudacher, Kathrin; Mogler, Carolin; Uhlmann, Lorenz; Sievers, Philipp; Bea, Florian; Katus, Hugo A; Blessing, Erwin; Staudacher, Ingo

    2016-01-01

    Objective There is increasing evidence supporting the role of platelets in atherosclerotic vascular disease. The G-protein-coupled receptor P2Y12 is a central mediator of platelet activation and aggregation but has also been linked to platelet-independent vascular disease. Ticagrelor is an oral P2Y12 antagonist that is used as a standard treatment in patients after acute myocardial infarction. However, the effects of ticagrelor on advanced atherosclerosis have not been investigated. Materials and methods Twenty-week-old apolipoprotein-E-deficient mice received standard chow or standard chow supplemented with 0.15% ticagrelor (approximately 270 mg/kg/day) for 25 weeks. The lesion area was evaluated in the aortic sinus by Movat’s pentachrome staining and lesion composition, thickness of the fibrous cap, and size of the necrotic core evaluated by morphometry. RAW 264.7 macrophages were serum starved and treated with ticagrelor in vitro for the detection and quantification of apoptosis. In addition, oxLDL uptake in RAW 264.7 macrophages was evaluated. Results A trend toward the reduction of total lesion size was detected. However, data did not reach the levels of significance (control, n=11, 565,881 μm2 [interquartile range {IQR} 454,778–603,925 μm2] versus ticagrelor, n=13, 462,595 μm2 [IQR 379,740–546,037 μm2]; P=0.1). A significant reduction in the relative area of the necrotic core (control, n=11, 0.46 [IQR 0.4–0.51] versus ticagrelor, n=13, 0.34 [IQR 0.31–0.39]; P=0.008), and a significant increase in fibrous caps thickness (control, n=11, 3.7 μm [IQR 3.4–4.2 μm] versus ticagrelor, n=13, 4.7 [IQR 4.3–5.5 μm], P=0.04) were seen in ticagrelor-treated mice. In vitro studies demonstrated a reduction in apoptotic RAW 264.7 macrophages (control 0.07±0.03 versus ticagrelor 0.03±0.03; P=0.0002) when incubated with ticagrelor. Uptake of oxLDL in RAW 264.7 was significantly reduced when treated with ticagrelor (control 9.2 [IQR 5.3–12.9] versus

  17. Ticagrelor promotes atherosclerotic plaque stability in a mouse model of advanced atherosclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Preusch, Michael R; Rusnak, Jonas; Staudacher, Kathrin; Mogler, Carolin; Uhlmann, Lorenz; Sievers, Philipp; Bea, Florian; Katus, Hugo A; Blessing, Erwin; Staudacher, Ingo

    2016-01-01

    Objective There is increasing evidence supporting the role of platelets in atherosclerotic vascular disease. The G-protein-coupled receptor P2Y12 is a central mediator of platelet activation and aggregation but has also been linked to platelet-independent vascular disease. Ticagrelor is an oral P2Y12 antagonist that is used as a standard treatment in patients after acute myocardial infarction. However, the effects of ticagrelor on advanced atherosclerosis have not been investigated. Materials and methods Twenty-week-old apolipoprotein-E-deficient mice received standard chow or standard chow supplemented with 0.15% ticagrelor (approximately 270 mg/kg/day) for 25 weeks. The lesion area was evaluated in the aortic sinus by Movat’s pentachrome staining and lesion composition, thickness of the fibrous cap, and size of the necrotic core evaluated by morphometry. RAW 264.7 macrophages were serum starved and treated with ticagrelor in vitro for the detection and quantification of apoptosis. In addition, oxLDL uptake in RAW 264.7 macrophages was evaluated. Results A trend toward the reduction of total lesion size was detected. However, data did not reach the levels of significance (control, n=11, 565,881 μm2 [interquartile range {IQR} 454,778–603,925 μm2] versus ticagrelor, n=13, 462,595 μm2 [IQR 379,740–546,037 μm2]; P=0.1). A significant reduction in the relative area of the necrotic core (control, n=11, 0.46 [IQR 0.4–0.51] versus ticagrelor, n=13, 0.34 [IQR 0.31–0.39]; P=0.008), and a significant increase in fibrous caps thickness (control, n=11, 3.7 μm [IQR 3.4–4.2 μm] versus ticagrelor, n=13, 4.7 [IQR 4.3–5.5 μm], P=0.04) were seen in ticagrelor-treated mice. In vitro studies demonstrated a reduction in apoptotic RAW 264.7 macrophages (control 0.07±0.03 versus ticagrelor 0.03±0.03; P=0.0002) when incubated with ticagrelor. Uptake of oxLDL in RAW 264.7 was significantly reduced when treated with ticagrelor (control 9.2 [IQR 5.3–12.9] versus

  18. Acoustic Radiation Force Beam Sequence Performance for Detection and Material Characterization of Atherosclerotic Plaques: Preclinical, Ex Vivo Results

    PubMed Central

    Behler, Russell H.; Czernuszewicz, Tomasz J.; Wu, Chih-Da; Nichols, Timothy C.; Zhu, Hongtu; Homeister, Jonathon W.; Merricks, Elizabeth P.; Caughey, Melissa C.; Gallippi, Caterina M.

    2014-01-01

    This work presents preclinical data demonstrating performance of acoustic radiation force (ARF) based elasticity imaging with five different beam sequences for atherosclerotic plaque detection and material characterization. Twelve trained, blinded readers evaluated parametric images taken ex vivo under simulated in vivo conditions of 22 porcine femoral arterial segments. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was carried out to quantify reader performance using spatially-matched immunohistochemistry for validation. The beam sequences employed had high sensitivity and specificity for detecting Type III+ plaques (Sens: 85%, Spec: 79%), lipid pools (Sens: 80%, Spec: 86%), fibrous caps (Sens: 86%, spec: 82%), calcium (Sens: 96%, Spec: 85%), collagen (Sens: 78%, Spec: 77%), and disrupted internal elastic lamina (Sens: 92%, Spec: 75%). 1:1 single-receive tracking yielded the highest median areas under the ROC curve (AUC), but was not statistically significantly higher than 4:1 parallel-receive tracking. Excitation focal configuration did not result in statistically different AUCs. Overall, these results suggest ARF-based imaging is relevant to detecting and characterizing plaques and support its use for diagnosing and monitoring atherosclerosis. PMID:24297014

  19. Overexpression of Prolyl-4-Hydroxylase-α1 Stabilizes but Increases Shear Stress-Induced Atherosclerotic Plaque in Apolipoprotein E-Deficient Mice

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xin-xin; Li, Meng-meng; Zhang, Yu; Chen, Liang; Wang, Lin; Di, Ming-xue

    2016-01-01

    The rupture and erosion of atherosclerotic plaque can induce coronary thrombosis. Prolyl-4-hydroxylase (P4H) plays a central role in the synthesis of all known types of collagens, which are the most abundant constituent of the extracellular matrix in atherosclerotic plaque. The pathogenesis of atherosclerosis is thought to be in part caused by shear stress. In this study, we aimed to investigate a relationship between P4Hα1 and shear stress-induced atherosclerotic plaque. Carotid arteries of ApoE−/− mice were exposed to low and oscillatory shear stress conditions by the placement of a shear stress cast for 2 weeks; we divided 60 male ApoE−/− mice into three groups for treatments with saline (mock) (n = 20), empty lentivirus (lenti-EGFP) (n = 20), and lentivirus-P4Hα1 (lenti-P4Hα1) (n = 20). Our results reveal that after 2 weeks of lenti-P4Hα1 treatment both low and oscillatory shear stress-induced plaques increased collagen and the thickness of fibrous cap and decreased macrophage accumulation but no change in lipid accumulation. We also observed that overexpression of P4Ha1 increased plaque size. Our study suggests that P4Hα1 overexpression might be a potential therapeutic target in stabilizing vulnerable plaques.

  20. Treatment with a GnRH receptor agonist, but not the GnRH receptor antagonist degarelix, induces atherosclerotic plaque instability in ApoE−/− mice

    PubMed Central

    Knutsson, Anki; Hsiung, Sabrina; Celik, Selvi; Rattik, Sara; Mattisson, Ingrid Yao; Wigren, Maria; Scher, Howard I.; Nilsson, Jan; Hultgårdh-Nilsson, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer has been associated with increased risk for development of cardiovascular events and recent pooled analyses of randomized intervention trials suggest that this primarily is the case for patients with pre-existing cardiovascular disease treated with gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor (GnRH-R) agonists. In the present study we investigated the effects of the GnRH-R agonist leuprolide and the GnRH-R antagonist degarelix on established atherosclerotic plaques in ApoE−/− mice. A shear stress modifier was used to produce both advanced and more stable plaques in the carotid artery. After 4 weeks of ADT, increased areas of necrosis was observed in stable plaques from leuprolide-treated mice (median and IQR plaque necrotic area in control, degarelix and leuprolide-treated mice were 0.6% (IQR 0–3.1), 0.2% (IQR 0–4.4) and 11.0% (IQR 1.0-19.8), respectively). There was also evidence of increased inflammation as assessed by macrophage immunohistochemistry in the plaques from leuprolide-treated mice, but we found no evidence of such changes in plaques from control mice or mice treated with degarelix. Necrosis destabilizes plaques and increases the risk for rupture and development of acute cardiovascular events. Destabilization of pre-existing atherosclerotic plaques could explain the increased cardiovascular risk in prostate cancer patients treated with GnRH-R agonists. PMID:27189011

  1. Chlamydia pneumoniae in atherosclerotic carotid artery plaques: high prevalence among heavy smokers.

    PubMed

    Dobrilovic, N; Vadlamani, L; Meyer, M; Wright, C B

    2001-06-01

    This study was designed to determine the prevalence of Chlamydia pneumoniae in carotid artery plaques. Although there have been numerous studies evaluating coronary plaques for this bacterium fewer studies have assessed noncoronary vasculature. In addition we wished to evaluate whether correlation exists between the presence of C. pneumoniae in carotid plaques and established risk factors for atherosclerosis. Sixty intact carotid artery plaques removed during surgery (carotid endarterectomy) were formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded according to conventional techniques. These samples were evaluated by polymerase chain reaction analysis to detect presence of C. pneumoniae DNA. Results were tabulated and compared against established risk factors for atherosclerosis: diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, age, and smoking. Forty-two (70.0%) of the 60 plaques that were evaluated tested positive for the presence of C. pneumoniae DNA by polymerase chain reaction analysis. In the sample defined as being from heavy smokers (greater than 15-pack-year history) 33 (94.3%) of 35 plaques tested positive whereas two (5.7%) tested negative. This correlation demonstrated statistical significance (P = 1.36 x 10(-6), two-tailed Fisher exact test). Presence of C. pneumoniae in carotid plaques demonstrated no statistically significant correlation with diabetes, hypertension, or hyperlipidemia. Age as a risk factor was examined but not statistically evaluated because of the narrow range within our patient sample. Analysis of the data reveals that C. pneumoniae is present in large numbers of atheromatous plaques as is consistent with emerging data. What is interesting though is that 33 (94.3%) of the 35 smokers had plaques that tested positive for the bacterium as opposed to only nine (36.0%) of the 25 nonsmokers. Identification of specific populations exhibiting a high prevalence of C. pneumoniae may serve to focus future studies. Ongoing investigation will seek to determine whether C

  2. Combined imaging of oxidative stress and microscopic structure reveals new features in human atherosclerotic plaques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lilledahl, Magnus B.; Gustafsson, Håkan; Ellingsen, Pål Gunnar; Zachrisson, Helene; Hallbeck, Martin; Hagen, Vegard Stenhjem; Kildemo, Morten; Lindgren, Mikael

    2015-02-01

    Human atherosclerotic samples collected by carotid endarterectomy were investigated using electronic paramagnetic resonance imaging (EPRI) for visualization of reactive oxygen species, and nonlinear optical microscopy (NLOM) to study structural features. Regions of strong EPRI signal, indicating a higher concentration of reactive oxygen species and increased inflammation, were found to colocalize with regions dense in cholesterol crystals as revealed by NLOM.

  3. Systematic study of the effects of lowering low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol on regression of coronary atherosclerotic plaques using intravascular ultrasound

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Conflicting results currently exist on the effects of LDL-C levels and statins therapy on coronary atherosclerotic plaque, and the target level of LDL-C resulting in the regression of the coronary atherosclerotic plaques has not been settled. Methods PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases were searched from Jan. 2000 to Jan. 2014 for randomized controlled or blinded end-points trials assessing the effects of LDL-C lowering therapy on regression of coronary atherosclerotic plaque (CAP) in patients with coronary heart disease by intravascular ultrasound. Data concerning the study design, patient characteristics, and outcomes were extracted. The significance of plaques regression was assessed by computing standardized mean difference (SMD) of the volume of CAP between the baseline and follow-up. SMD were calculated using fixed or random effects models. Results Twenty trials including 5910 patients with coronary heart disease were identified. Mean lowering LDL-C by 45.4% and to level 66.8 mg/dL in the group of patients with baseline mean LDL-C 123.7 mg/dL, mean lowering LDL-C by 48.8% and to level 60.6 mg/dL in the group of patients with baseline mean LDL-C 120 mg/dL, and mean lowering LDL-C by 40.4% and to level 77.8 mg/dL in the group of patients with baseline mean LDL-C 132.4 mg/dL could significantly reduce the volume of CAP at follow up (SMD −0.108 mm3, 95% CI −0.176 ~ −0.040, p = 0.002; SMD −0.156 mm3, 95% CI −0.235 ~ −0.078, p = 0.000; SMD −0.123 mm3, 95% CI −0.199 ~ −0.048, p = 0.001; respectively). LDL-C lowering by rosuvastatin (mean 33 mg daily) and atorvastatin (mean 60 mg daily) could significantly decrease the volumes of CAP at follow up (SMD −0.162 mm3, 95% CI: −0.234 ~ −0.081, p = 0.000; SMD −0.101, 95% CI: −0.184 ~ −0.019, p = 0.016; respectively). The mean duration of follow up was from 17 ~ 21 months. Conclusions Intensive lowering LDL-C (rosuvastatin

  4. Plaque and arterial vulnerability investigation in a three-layer atherosclerotic human coronary artery using computational fluid-structure interaction method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karimi, Alireza; Navidbakhsh, Mahdi; Razaghi, Reza

    2014-08-01

    Coronary artery disease is the common form of cardiovascular diseases and known to be the main reason of deaths in the world. Fluid-Structure Interaction (FSI) simulations can be employed to assess the interactions of artery/plaque and blood to provide a more precise anticipation for rupture of arterial tissue layers and plaque tissues inside an atherosclerotic artery. To date, the arterial tissue in computational FSI simulations has been considered as a one-layer structure. However, a single layer assumption might have deeply bounded the results and, consequently, more computational simulation is needed by considering the arterial tissue as a three-layer structure. In this study, a three-dimensional computational FSI model of an atherosclerotic artery with a three-layer structure and different plaque types was established to perform a more accurate arterial wall/plaque tissue vulnerability assessment. The hyperelastic material coefficients of arterial layers were calculated and implemented in the computational model. The fully coupled fluid and structure models were solved using the explicit dynamics finite element code LS-DYNA. The results revealed the significant role of plaque types in the normal and shear stresses induced within the arterial tissue layers. The highest von Mises and shear stresses were observed on the stiffest calcified plaque with 3.59 and 3.27 MPa, while the lowest von Mises and shear stresses were seen on the hypocellular plaque with 1.15 and 0.63 MPa, respectively. Regardless of plaque types, the media and adventitia layers were played protective roles by displaying less stress on their wall, whilst the intima layer was at a high risk of rupture. The findings of this study have implications not only for determining the most vulnerable arterial layer/plaque tissue inside an atherosclerotic coronary artery but also for balloon-angioplasty, stenting, and bypass surgeries.

  5. Detection of early stage atherosclerotic plaques using PET and CT fusion imaging targeting P-selectin in low density lipoprotein receptor-deficient mice

    SciTech Connect

    Nakamura, Ikuko; Hasegawa, Koki; Wada, Yasuhiro; Hirase, Tetsuaki; Node, Koichi; Watanabe, Yasuyoshi

    2013-03-29

    Highlights: ► P-selectin regulates leukocyte recruitment as an early stage event of atherogenesis. ► We developed an antibody-based molecular imaging probe targeting P-selectin for PET. ► This is the first report on successful PET imaging for delineation of P-selectin. ► P-selectin is a candidate target for atherosclerotic plaque imaging by clinical PET. -- Abstract: Background: Sensitive detection and qualitative analysis of atherosclerotic plaques are in high demand in cardiovascular clinical settings. The leukocyte–endothelial interaction mediated by an adhesion molecule P-selectin participates in arterial wall inflammation and atherosclerosis. Methods and results: A {sup 64}Cu-1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid conjugated anti-P-selectin monoclonal antibody ({sup 64}Cu-DOTA-anti-P-selectin mAb) probe was prepared by conjugating an anti-P-selectin monoclonal antibody with DOTA followed by {sup 64}Cu labeling. Thirty-six hours prior to PET and CT fusion imaging, 3 MBq of {sup 64}Cu-DOTA-anti-P-selectin mAb was intravenously injected into low density lipoprotein receptor-deficient Ldlr-/- mice. After a 180 min PET scan, autoradiography and biodistribution of {sup 64}Cu-DOTA-anti-P-selectin monoclonal antibody was examined using excised aortas. In Ldlr-/- mice fed with a high cholesterol diet for promotion of atherosclerotic plaque development, PET and CT fusion imaging revealed selective and prominent accumulation of the probe in the aortic root. Autoradiography of aortas that demonstrated probe uptake into atherosclerotic plaques was confirmed by Oil red O staining for lipid droplets. In Ldlr-/- mice fed with a chow diet to develop mild atherosclerotic plaques, probe accumulation was barely detectable in the aortic root on PET and CT fusion imaging. Probe biodistribution in aortas was 6.6-fold higher in Ldlr-/- mice fed with a high cholesterol diet than in those fed with a normal chow diet. {sup 64}Cu-DOTA-anti-P-selectin m

  6. Insulin Resistance: A Proinflammatory State Mediated by Lipid-Induced Signaling Dysfunction and Involved in Atherosclerotic Plaque Instability

    PubMed Central

    Montecucco, Fabrizio; Steffens, Sabine; Mach, François

    2008-01-01

    The dysregulation of the insulin-glucose axis represents the crucial event in insulin resistance syndrome. Insulin resistance increases atherogenesis and atherosclerotic plaque instability by inducing proinflammatory activities on vascular and immune cells. This condition characterizes several diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), impaired fasting glucose (IFG), obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and other endocrinopathies, but also cancer. Recent studies suggest that the pathophysiology of insulin resistance is closely related to interferences with insulin-mediated intracellular signaling on skeletal muscle cells, hepatocytes, and adipocytes. Strong evidence supports the role of free fatty acids (FFAs) in promoting insulin resistance. The FFA-induced activation of protein kinase C (PKC) delta, inhibitor kappaB kinase (IKK), or c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) modulates insulin-triggered intracellular pathway (classically known as PI3-K-dependent). Therefore, reduction of FFA levels represents a selective target for modulating insulin resistance. PMID:18604303

  7. Relationship between indexed epicardial fat volume and coronary plaque volume assessed by cardiac multidetector CT.

    PubMed

    You, Seulgi; Sun, Joo Sung; Park, Seon Young; Baek, Yoolim; Kang, Doo Kyoung

    2016-07-01

    We explored whether baseline indexed epicardial fat volume (EFVi) and serial changes in EFVi were associated with increase in coronary plaque volume as assessed by multidetector computed tomography.We retrospectively reviewed 87 patients with coronary artery plaque, identified during either baseline or follow-up cardiac computed tomography (CT) examinations. Each plaque volume was measured in volumetric units using a semiautomatic software tool. EFVi was quantified by calculating the total volume of epicardial tissue of CT density -190 to -30 HU, indexed to the body surface area. Clinical cardiovascular risk factors were extracted by medical record review at the time of the cardiac CT examinations. The relationship between EFVi and coronary plaque volume was explored by regression analysis.Although the EFVi did not change significantly from baseline to the time of the follow-up CT (65.7 ± 21.8 vs 66.0 ± 21.8 cm/m, P = 0.620), the plaque volumes were increased significantly on the follow-up CT scans. The annual change in EFVi was not accompanied by a parallel change in coronary plaque volume (P = 0.096-0.500). On univariate analysis, smoking, hypercholesterolemia, 10-year coronary heart disease risk, obesity, and baseline EFVi predicted rapid increases in lipid-rich and fibrous plaque volumes. On multivariate analysis, baseline EFVi (odds ratio = 1.029, P = 0.016) was an independent predictor of a rapid increase in lipid-rich plaque volume.EFVi was shown to be an independent predictor of a rapid increase in lipid-rich plaque volume. However, changes in EFVi were not associated with parallel changes in coronary plaque volume.

  8. Mineral Volume and Morphology in Carotid Plaque Specimens Using High-Resolution MRI and CT

    PubMed Central

    Wolf, Ronald L.; Wehrli, Suzanne L.; Popescu, Andra M.; Woo, John H.; Song, Hee Kwon; Wright, Alexander C.; Mohler, Emile R.; Harding, John D.; Zager, Eric L.; Fairman, Ronald M.; Golden, Michael A.; Velazquez, Omaida C.; Carpenter, Jeffrey P.; Wehrli, Felix W.

    2006-01-01

    Objective High-resolution MRI methods have been used to evaluate carotid artery atherosclerotic plaque content. The purpose of this study was to assess the performance of high-resolution MRI in evaluation of the quantity and pattern of mineral deposition in carotid endarterectomy (CEA) specimens, with quantitative micro-CT as the gold standard. Methods and Results High-resolution MRI and CT were compared in 20 CEA specimens. Linear regression comparing mineral volumes generated from CT (VCT) and MRI (VMRI) data demonstrated good correlation using simple thresholding (VMRI=-0.01+0.98VCT; R2=0.90; threshold=4×noise) and k-means clustering methods (VMRI=-0.005+1.38VCT; R2=0.93). Bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC [mineral mass]) were calculated for CT data and BMC verified with ash weight. Patterns of mineralization like particles, granules, and sheets were more clearly depicted on CT. Conclusions Mineral volumes generated from MRI or CT data were highly correlated. CT provided a more detailed depiction of mineralization patterns and provided BMD and BMC in addition to mineral volume. The extent of mineralization as well as the morphology may ultimately be useful in assessing plaque stability. PMID:15947239

  9. A mechanistic analysis of the role of microcalcifications in atherosclerotic plaque stability: potential implications for plaque rupture

    PubMed Central

    Maldonado, Natalia; Kelly-Arnold, Adreanne; Vengrenyuk, Yuliya; Laudier, Damien; Fallon, John T.; Virmani, Renu; Cardoso, Luis

    2012-01-01

    The role of microcalcifications (μCalcs) in the biomechanics of vulnerable plaque rupture is examined. Our laboratory previously proposed (Ref. 44), using a very limited tissue sample, that μCalcs embedded in the fibrous cap proper could significantly increase cap instability. This study has been greatly expanded. Ninety-two human coronary arteries containing 62 fibroatheroma were examined using high-resolution microcomputed tomography at 6.7-μm resolution and undecalcified histology with special emphasis on calcified particles <50 μm in diameter. Our results reveal the presence of thousands of μCalcs, the vast majority in lipid pools where they are not dangerous. However, 81 μCalcs were also observed in the fibrous caps of nine of the fibroatheroma. All 81 of these μCalcs were analyzed using three-dimensional finite-element analysis, and the results were used to develop important new clinical criteria for cap stability. These criteria include variation of the Young's modulus of the μCalc and surrounding tissue, μCalc size, and clustering. We found that local tissue stress could be increased fivefold when μCalcs were closely spaced, and the peak circumferential stress in the thinnest nonruptured cap (66 μm) if no μCalcs were present was only 107 kPa, far less than the proposed minimum rupture threshold of 300 kPa. These results and histology suggest that there are numerous μCalcs < 15 μm in the caps, not visible at 6.7-μm resolution, and that our failure to find any nonruptured caps between 30 and 66 μm is a strong indication that many of these caps contained μCalcs. PMID:22777419

  10. Selective ablation of WHHLMI rabbit atherosclerotic plaque by quantum cascade laser in the 5.7 μm wavelength range for less-invasive laser angioplasty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hashimura, Keisuke; Ishii, Katsunori; Akikusa, Naota; Edamura, Tadataka; Yoshida, Harumasa; Awazu, Kunio

    2013-06-01

    We investigated the potential of a compact and high-power quantum cascade laser (QCL) in the 5.7 μm wavelength range for less-invasive laser angioplasty. Atherosclerotic plaques consist mainly of cholesteryl esters. Radiation at a wavelength of 5.75 μm is strongly absorbed in C=O stretching vibration mode of cholesteryl esters. Our previous study achieved to make cutting differences between a normal artery and an atherosclerotic lesions using nanosecond pulsed laser by difference-frequency generation (DFG laser) at the wavelength of 5.75 μm. For applying this technique to clinical treatment, a compact laser device is required. In this study, QCL irradiation effects to a porcine normal aorta were compared with DFG laser. Subsequently, QCL irradiation effects on an atherosclerotic aorta of myocardial infarction-prone Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic rabbit (WHHLMI rabbit) and a normal rabbit aorta were observed. As a result, the QCL could make cutting differences between the rabbit atherosclerotic and normal aortas. On the other hand, the QCL induced more thermal damage to porcine normal aorta than the DFG laser at the irradiation condition of comparable ablation depths. In conclusion, the possibility of less-invasive and selective treatment of atherosclerotic plaques using the QCL in the 5.7 μm wavelength range was revealed, although improvement of QCL was required to prevent the thermal damage of a normal artery.

  11. Selective Inhibition of PI3K/Akt/mTOR Signaling Pathway Regulates Autophagy of Macrophage and Vulnerability of Atherosclerotic Plaque

    PubMed Central

    Zhai, Chungang; Cheng, Jing; Mujahid, Haroon; Wang, Hefeng; Kong, Jing; Yin, Yue; Li, Jifu; Zhang, Yun; Ji, Xiaoping; Chen, Wenqiang

    2014-01-01

    Macrophage infiltration contributes to the instability of atherosclerotic plaques. In the present study, we investigated whether selective inhibition of PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway can enhance the stability of atherosclerotic plaques by activation of macrophage autophagy. In vitro study, selective inhibitors or siRNA of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathways were used to treat the rabbit's peritoneal primary macrophage cells. Inflammation related cytokines secreted by macrophages were measured. Ultrastructure changes of macrophages were examined by transmission electron microscope. mRNA or protein expression levels of autophagy related gene Beclin 1, protein 1 light chain 3 II dots (LC3-II) or Atg5-Atg12 conjugation were assayed by quantitative RT-PCR or Western blot. In vivo study, vulnerable plaque models were established in 40 New Zealand White rabbits and then drugs or siRNA were given for 8 weeks to inhibit the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway. Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) was performed to observe the plaque imaging. The ultrastructure of the abdominal aortic atherosclerosis lesions were analyzed with histopathology. RT-PCR or Western blot methods were used to measure the expression levels of corresponding autophagy related molecules. We found that macrophage autophagy was induced in the presence of Akt inhibitor, mTOR inhibitor and mTOR-siRNA in vitro study, while PI3K inhibitor had the opposite role. In vivo study, we found that macrophage autophagy increased significantly and the rabbits had lower plaque rupture incidence, lower plaque burden and decreased vulnerability index in the inhibitors or siRNA treated groups. We made a conclusion that selective inhibition of the Akt/mTOR signal pathway can reduce macrophages and stabilize the vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques by promoting macrophage autophagy. PMID:24599185

  12. Selective treatment of atherosclerotic plaques using nanosecond pulsed laser with a wavelength of 5.75 μm for less-invasive laser angioplasty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishii, K.; Tsukimoto, H.; Hazama, H.; Awazu, K.

    2009-07-01

    XeCl excimer laser coronary angioplasty (ELCA), has gained more attention for the treatment of serious stenosis blocked by plaque. Low degrees of thermal damage after ablation of atherosclerotic plaques have been achieved by ELCA. However, the large number of risks associated with the procedure, for example, dissections or perforations of the coronary arteries limits its application. The laser treatment technique with high ablation efficiency but low arterial wall injury is desirable. Mid-infrared laser with a wavelength of 5.75 μm is selectively well absorbed in C=O stretching vibration mode of ester bonds in cholesteryl ester. We studied the effectiveness of nanosecond pulsed laser at 5.75 μm for novel less-invasive laser angioplasty. In this study, we used a mid-infrared tunable solid-state laser which is operated by difference-frequency generation, at 5.75 μm, a pulse width of 5 ns and a pulse repetition rate of 10 Hz as a treatment light source, and a thoracic aorta of WHHLMI rabbit as an atherosclerosis model. As a result, less-invasive treatment parameters for removing atherosclerotic plaques in a wet condition were confirmed. This study shows that the nanosecond pulsed laser irradiation at 5.75 μm is a powerful tool for selective and less-invasive treatment of atherosclerotic plaques.

  13. Optical measurement of arterial mechanical properties: from atherosclerotic plaque initiation to rupture

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Abstract. During the pathogenesis of coronary atherosclerosis, from lesion initiation to rupture, arterial mechanical properties are altered by a number of cellular, molecular, and hemodynamic processes. There is growing recognition that mechanical factors may actively drive vascular cell signaling and regulate atherosclerosis disease progression. In advanced plaques, the mechanical properties of the atheroma influence stress distributions in the fibrous cap and mediate plaque rupture resulting in acute coronary events. This review paper explores current optical technologies that provide information on the mechanical properties of arterial tissue to advance our understanding of the mechanical factors involved in atherosclerosis development leading to plaque rupture. The optical approaches discussed include optical microrheology and traction force microscopy that probe the mechanical behavior of single cell and extracellular matrix components, and intravascular imaging modalities including laser speckle rheology, optical coherence elastography, and polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography to measure the mechanical properties of advanced coronary lesions. Given the wealth of information that these techniques can provide, optical imaging modalities are poised to play an increasingly significant role in elucidating the mechanical aspects of coronary atherosclerosis in the future. PMID:24296995

  14. Impact of Wall Shear Stress and Pressure Variation on the Stability of Atherosclerotic Plaque

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taviani, V.; Li, Z. Y.; Sutcliffe, M.; Gillard, J.

    Rupture of vulnerable atheromatous plaque in the carotid and coronary arteries often leads to stroke and heart attack respectively. The mechanism of blood flow and plaque rupture in stenotic arteries is still not fully understood. A three dimensional rigid wall model was solved under steady and unsteady conditions assuming a time-varying inlet velocity profile to investigate the relative importance of axial forces and pressure drops in arteries with asymmetric stenosis. Flow-structure interactions were investigated for the same geometry and the results were compared with those retrieved with the corresponding one dimensional models. The Navier-Stokes equations were used as the governing equations for the fluid. The tube wall was assumed linearly elastic, homogeneous isotropic. The analysis showed that wall shear stress is small (less than 3.5%) with respect to pressure drop throughout the cycle even for severe stenosis. On the contrary, the three dimensional behavior of velocity, pressure and wall shear stress is in general very different from that predicted by one dimensional models. This suggests that the primary source of mistakes in one dimensional studies comes from neglecting the three dimensional geometry of the plaque. Neglecting axial forces only involves minor errors.

  15. The Burden of Hard Atherosclerotic Plaques Does Not Promote Endoleak Development After Endovascular Aortic Aneurysm Repair: A Risk Stratification

    SciTech Connect

    Petersen, Johannes Glodny, Bernhard

    2011-10-15

    Purpose: To objectify the influence of the atherosclerotic burden in the proximal landing zone on the development of endoleaks after endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR) or thoracic endovascular aneurysm repair (TEVAR) using objective aortic calcium scoring (ACS). Materials and Methods: This retrospective observation study included 267 patients who received an aortic endograft between 1997 and 2010 and for whom preoperative computed tomography (CT) was available to perform ACS using the CT-based V600 method. The mean follow-up period was 2 {+-} 2.3 years. Results: Type I endoleaks persisted in 45 patients (16.9%), type II in 34 (12.7%), type III in 8 (3%), and type IV or V in 3 patients, respectively (1.1% each). ACS in patients with type I endoleaks was not increased: 0.029 {+-} 0.061 ml compared with 0.075 {+-} 0.1349 ml in the rest of the patients, (p > 0.05; Whitney-Mann U-Test). There were significantly better results for the indication 'traumatic aortic rupture' than for the other indications (p < 0.05). In multivariate logistic regression analyses, age was an independent risk factor for the development of type I endoleaks in the thoracic aorta (Wald 9.5; p = 0.002), whereas ACS score was an independent protective factor (Wald 6.9; p = 0.009). In the abdominal aorta, neither age nor ACS influenced the development of endoleaks. Conclusion: Contrary to previous assumptions, TEVAR and EVAR can be carried out without increasing the risk of an endoleak of any type, even if there is a high atherosclerotic 'hard-plaque' burden of the aorta. The results are significantly better for traumatic aortic.

  16. Exclusion of Atherosclerotic Plaque from the Circulation Using Stent-Grafts: Alternative to Carotid Stenting with a Protection Device?

    SciTech Connect

    Peynircioglu, Bora Geyik, Serdar; Yavuz, Kivilcim; Cil, Barbaros E.; Saatci, Isil; Cekirge, Saruhan

    2007-09-15

    Purpose. To retrospectively assess the feasibility, safety, and clinical mid-term outcome of patients undergoing carotid artery stenting with stent-grafts. Methods. Over a 4 year period stent-grafts were used in the endovascular treatment of symptomatic internal carotid artery stenosis in 12 patients (2 women, 10 men, aged 47-83 (mean 64) years). Protection devices were not used. Possible microembolic complications were evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations of the brain before and the day after the procedure in all patients. Mean follow-up was 22 months (range 1-42 months), by Doppler ultrasonography and conventional angiography as well as clinical examination .Results. The technical success rate was 100%. A total of 13 coronary stent-grafts were used. The mean stenosis rate (in terms of diameter) was 85% and the mean length of stent-grafts used was 20.9 mm. The mean diameter to which the stent-grafts were dilated was 4.66 mm. In-hospital complications occurred in 1 patient who suffered a minor femoral access hematoma that did not require transfusion or surgical decompression. Post-stenting diffusion-weighted MRI revealed several ipsilateral silent microemboli in only 1 case, which was completely asymptomatic. Two patients had a major stroke after 2 years of follow-up. Restenosis was found in 2 patients who underwent successful balloon dilatation followed by placement of a self-expandable bare stent within the stent-grafts. Conclusions. Stent-grafts may prevent microembolic complications during stenting of atherosclerotic carotid lesions in selected cases, offering immediate exclusion of the atherosclerotic lesion from the circulation by pressing the plaque against the vessel wall. Comparative, randomized studies in larger series of patients are needed with carotid-dedicated stent-graft designs.

  17. [Simultaneous magnetic resonance angiographic and tomographic assessment of atherosclerotic plaques of carotid arteries with paramagnetic contrasting by cyclomang].

    PubMed

    Usov, V Yu; Belyanin, M L; Bobrikova, E E; Borodin, O Yu; Shimanovsky, N L; Minenko, T V; Bukhovets, I L; Plotnikov, M P; Kozlov, B N; Shipulin, V M

    2016-01-01

    The authors studied a possibility of simultaneously performing magnetic resonance (MR) angiography of carotid arteries and contrast-enhanced MR tomography of atherosclerotic plaques of carotid arteries. We examined a total of 16 patients presenting with disseminated atherosclerosis and 8 patients of the control group. Quadrature coils for examination of the head were used in order to sequentially perform MR tomography of the brain, MR angiography of carotid arteries and MR tomography of atherosclerotic plaques of carotid arteries with contrasting by 0.5M cyclomang. Angiography was carried out by means of the technique of 3D GR FFE of rapid gradient echo (TR/TE/FA/ST=10 ms/2.7 ms/20°/1.5 mm). MR tomography of the carotid arteries bifurcation was performed in the T1-weighted spin-echo mode: TR=500-900 ms, TE=10 ms, slice sickness 1-3 mm into the matrix 256x256 voxels, with the voxel size measuring 0.2x0.2x2 mm. The average time of passing of the paramagnetic through the blood vessels of the cerebral hemispheres in the control group amounted to 4.23±0.14 s for the left hemisphere and to 4.27±0.15 s for the right one. The mean time of bolus passing in patients with predominantly unilateral stenosis of the internal carotid artery amounted to 4.89±0.23 on the affected side, equalling 4.56±0.19 s on the unaffected side (p>0.05). In bilateral lesions these indices for the left and right hemispheres amounted to 4.98±0.21 s and 5.01±0.16 s (p>0.05), respectively. Contrast-enhanced MR angiography with cyclomang made it possible in all cases to visualize the localization and character of stenosis. The index of stenosis degree calculated for MR-angiogram highly significantly correlated with the indices of the ultrasonographic examination performed according to the ECST technique both for cases of unilateral (r=0.87, p<0.05) and cases of bilateral stenotic lesion (r=0.85, p<0.05). Inhomogeneous soft plaques with high content of lipids had high values of the enhancement

  18. Fluorescent lifetime imaging microscopy using Europium complexes improves atherosclerotic plaques discrimination.

    PubMed

    Sicchieri, Letícia Bonfante; de Andrade Natal, Rodrigo; Courrol, Lilia Coronato

    2016-10-01

    The objective of this study is to characterize arterial tissue with and without atherosclerosis by fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) using Europium Chlortetracycline complex (EuCTc) as fluorescent marker. For this study, twelve rabbits were randomly divided into a control group (CG) and an experimental group (EG), where they were fed a normal and hypercholesterolemic diet, respectively, and were treated for 60 days. Cryosections of the aortic arch specimens were cut in a vertical plane, mounted on glass slides, and stained with Europium (Eu), Chlortetracycline (CTc), Europium Chlortetracycline (EuCTc), and Europium Chlortetracycline Magnesium (EuCTcMg) solutions. FLIM images were obtained with excitation at 405 nm. The average autofluorescence lifetime within plaque depositions was ~1.36 ns. Reduced plaque autofluorescence lifetimes of 0.23 and 0.31 ns were observed on incubation with EuCTc and EuCTcMg respectively. It was observed a quenching of collagen, cholesterol and TG emission spectra increasing EuCTc concentration. The drastic reduction in fluorescence lifetimes is due to a resonant energy transfer between collagen, triglycerides, cholesterol and europium complexes, quenching fluorescence.

  19. Fluorescent lifetime imaging microscopy using Europium complexes improves atherosclerotic plaques discrimination.

    PubMed

    Sicchieri, Letícia Bonfante; de Andrade Natal, Rodrigo; Courrol, Lilia Coronato

    2016-10-01

    The objective of this study is to characterize arterial tissue with and without atherosclerosis by fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) using Europium Chlortetracycline complex (EuCTc) as fluorescent marker. For this study, twelve rabbits were randomly divided into a control group (CG) and an experimental group (EG), where they were fed a normal and hypercholesterolemic diet, respectively, and were treated for 60 days. Cryosections of the aortic arch specimens were cut in a vertical plane, mounted on glass slides, and stained with Europium (Eu), Chlortetracycline (CTc), Europium Chlortetracycline (EuCTc), and Europium Chlortetracycline Magnesium (EuCTcMg) solutions. FLIM images were obtained with excitation at 405 nm. The average autofluorescence lifetime within plaque depositions was ~1.36 ns. Reduced plaque autofluorescence lifetimes of 0.23 and 0.31 ns were observed on incubation with EuCTc and EuCTcMg respectively. It was observed a quenching of collagen, cholesterol and TG emission spectra increasing EuCTc concentration. The drastic reduction in fluorescence lifetimes is due to a resonant energy transfer between collagen, triglycerides, cholesterol and europium complexes, quenching fluorescence. PMID:27412686

  20. Bacteria and bacterial DNA in atherosclerotic plaque and aneurysmal wall biopsies from patients with and without periodontitis

    PubMed Central

    Armingohar, Zahra; Jørgensen, Jørgen J.; Kristoffersen, Anne Karin; Abesha-Belay, Emnet; Olsen, Ingar

    2014-01-01

    Background Several studies have reported an association between chronic periodontitis (CP) and cardiovascular diseases. Detection of periodontopathogens, including red complex bacteria (RCB), in vascular lesions has suggested these bacteria to be involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and abdominal aortic aneurysms. Objective In this study, we investigate bacteria and their DNA in vascular biopsies from patients with vascular diseases (VD; i.e. abdominal aortic aneurysms, atherosclerotic carotid, and common femoral arteries), with and without CP. Methods DNA was extracted from vascular biopsies selected from 40 VD patients: 30 with CP and 10 without CP. The V3-V5 region of the 16S rDNA (V3-V5) was polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-amplified, and the amplicons were cloned into Escherichia coli, sequenced, and classified (GenBank and the Human Oral Microbiome database). Species-specific primers were used for the detection of Porphyromonas gingivalis. In addition, 10 randomly selected vascular biopsies from the CP group were subjected to scanning electron microscopy (SEM) for visualization of bacteria. Checkerboard DNA–DNA hybridization was performed to assess the presence of RCB in 10 randomly selected subgingival plaque samples from CP patients. Results A higher load and mean diversity of bacteria were detected in vascular biopsies from VD patients with CP compared to those without CP. Enterobacteriaceae were frequently detected in vascular biopsies together with cultivable, commensal oral, and not-yet-cultured bacterial species. While 70% of the subgingival plaque samples from CP patients showed presence of RCB, only P. gingivalis was detected in one vascular biopsy. Bacterial cells were seen in all 10 vascular biopsies examined by SEM. Conclusions A higher bacterial load and more diverse colonization were detected in VD lesions of CP patients as compared to patients without CP. This indicated that a multitude of bacterial species both from the gut and the

  1. Intra-Arterial Drug and Light Delivery for Photodynamic Therapy Using Visudyne®: Implication for Atherosclerotic Plaque Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Jain, Manish; Zellweger, Matthieu; Frobert, Aurélien; Valentin, Jérémy; van den Bergh, Hubert; Wagnières, Georges; Cook, Stéphane; Giraud, Marie-Noelle

    2016-01-01

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT), which is based on the activation of photosensitizers with light, can be used to reduce plaque burden. We hypothesized that intra-arterial photosensitizer administration and photo-activation will lead to high and rapid accumulation within the plaque with reduced systemic adverse effects. Thus, this “intra-arterial” PDT would be expected to have less side effects and due to the short time involved would be compatible with percutaneous coronary interventions. Aim: We characterized the dose-dependent uptake and efficacy of intra-arterial PDT using Liposomal Verteporfin (Visudyne®), efficient for cancer-PDT but not tested before for PDT of atherosclerosis. Methods and Results: Visudyne® (100, 200, and 500 ng/ml) was perfused for 5–30 min in atherosclerotic aorta isolated from ApoE−/− mice. The fluorescence Intensity (FI) after 15 min of Visudyne® perfusion increased with doses of 100 (FI-5.5 ± 1.8), 200 (FI-31.9 ± 1.9) or 500 ng/ml (FI-42.9 ± 1.2). Visudyne® (500 ng/ml) uptake also increased with the administration time from 5 min (FI-9.8 ± 2.5) to 10 min (FI-23.3 ± 3.0) and 15 min (FI-42.9 ± 3.4) before reaching saturation at 30 min (FI-39.3 ± 2.4) contact. Intra-arterial PDT (Fluence: 100 and 200 J/cm2, irradiance-334 mW/cm2) was applied immediately after Visudyne® perfusion (500 ng/ml for 15 min) using a cylindrical light diffuser coupled to a diode laser (690 nm). PDT led to an increase of ROS (Dihydroethidium; FI-6.9 ± 1.8, 25.3 ± 5.5, 43.4 ± 13.9) and apoptotic cells (TUNEL; 2.5 ± 1.6, 41.3 ± 15.3, 58.9 ± 6%), mainly plaque macrophages (immunostaining; 0.3 ± 0.2, 37.6 ± 6.4, 45.3 ± 5.4%) respectively without laser irradiation, or at 100 and 200 J/cm2. Limited apoptosis was observed in the medial wall (0.5 ± 0.2, 8.5 ± 4.7, 15.3 ± 12.7%). Finally, Visudyne®-PDT was found to be associated with reduced vessel functionality (Myogram). Conclusion: We demonstrated that sufficient accumulation of Visudyne

  2. Intra-Arterial Drug and Light Delivery for Photodynamic Therapy Using Visudyne®: Implication for Atherosclerotic Plaque Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Jain, Manish; Zellweger, Matthieu; Frobert, Aurélien; Valentin, Jérémy; van den Bergh, Hubert; Wagnières, Georges; Cook, Stéphane; Giraud, Marie-Noelle

    2016-01-01

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT), which is based on the activation of photosensitizers with light, can be used to reduce plaque burden. We hypothesized that intra-arterial photosensitizer administration and photo-activation will lead to high and rapid accumulation within the plaque with reduced systemic adverse effects. Thus, this “intra-arterial” PDT would be expected to have less side effects and due to the short time involved would be compatible with percutaneous coronary interventions. Aim: We characterized the dose-dependent uptake and efficacy of intra-arterial PDT using Liposomal Verteporfin (Visudyne®), efficient for cancer-PDT but not tested before for PDT of atherosclerosis. Methods and Results: Visudyne® (100, 200, and 500 ng/ml) was perfused for 5–30 min in atherosclerotic aorta isolated from ApoE−/− mice. The fluorescence Intensity (FI) after 15 min of Visudyne® perfusion increased with doses of 100 (FI-5.5 ± 1.8), 200 (FI-31.9 ± 1.9) or 500 ng/ml (FI-42.9 ± 1.2). Visudyne® (500 ng/ml) uptake also increased with the administration time from 5 min (FI-9.8 ± 2.5) to 10 min (FI-23.3 ± 3.0) and 15 min (FI-42.9 ± 3.4) before reaching saturation at 30 min (FI-39.3 ± 2.4) contact. Intra-arterial PDT (Fluence: 100 and 200 J/cm2, irradiance-334 mW/cm2) was applied immediately after Visudyne® perfusion (500 ng/ml for 15 min) using a cylindrical light diffuser coupled to a diode laser (690 nm). PDT led to an increase of ROS (Dihydroethidium; FI-6.9 ± 1.8, 25.3 ± 5.5, 43.4 ± 13.9) and apoptotic cells (TUNEL; 2.5 ± 1.6, 41.3 ± 15.3, 58.9 ± 6%), mainly plaque macrophages (immunostaining; 0.3 ± 0.2, 37.6 ± 6.4, 45.3 ± 5.4%) respectively without laser irradiation, or at 100 and 200 J/cm2. Limited apoptosis was observed in the medial wall (0.5 ± 0.2, 8.5 ± 4.7, 15.3 ± 12.7%). Finally, Visudyne®-PDT was found to be associated with reduced vessel functionality (Myogram). Conclusion: We demonstrated that sufficient accumulation of Visudyne

  3. The angiotensin receptor blocker, azilsartan medoxomil (TAK-491), suppresses vascular wall expression of plasminogen activator inhibitor type-I protein potentially facilitating the stabilization of atherosclerotic plaques.

    PubMed

    French, Christopher J; Zaman, A K M Tarikuz; Sobel, Burton E

    2011-08-01

    Increased expression of plasminogen activator inhibitor type-I (PAI-1) in vessel walls seems to accelerate atherosclerosis. Angiotensin II can increase the synthesis of PAI-1. Inhibition of this process may facilitate migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) stabilizing atherosclerotic plaques. To determine whether the inhibition of the angiotensin II type 1 receptor can blunt the expression of PAI-1 protein in the aortic wall, we administered azilsartan medoxomil (AZL-M), a prodrug of an angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker developed by the Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, for 16 weeks to ApoE knockout mice on a high fat diet rendered overexpressors of PAI-1 in VSMCs. Homogenates of the pooled aortas from each group were assayed for PAI-1 by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Cellularity of atherosclerotic lesions was assessed by 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining in sections of aortic lesions, and collagen content in the lesions was quantified by immunohistochemistry. Aortic wall PAI-1 was decreased by each of the 3 dosage regimens of AZL-M (0.1-10 mg/kg). Cellularity and collagen were increased in lesions from mice given AZL-M, consistent with the development of more stable plaques. Accordingly, the suppression of PAI-1 expression by AZL-M may attenuate the evolution of atherosclerotic plaques vulnerable to rupture.

  4. A method to compensate for the underestimation of collagen with polarized picrosirius red imaging in human artery atherosclerotic plaques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greiner, C. A.; Grainger, S. J.; Su, J. L.; Madden, S. P.; Muller, J. E.

    2016-04-01

    Although picrosirius red (PSR) is known to be in quantifying collagen under polarized light (PL), commonly used linearly PL can result in an underestimation of collagen, as some of the fibers may appear dark if aligned with the transmission axis of the polarizers. To address this, a sample may be imaged with circularly polarized light at the expense of higher background intensity. However, the quality and alignment of the microscope illumination optics, polarizers and waveplates can still produce imaging variability with circular polarization. A simpler technique was tested that minimized variability and background intensity with linear polarization by acquiring images at multiple angles of histology slide rotation to create a composite co-registered image, permitting the optimal semi-quantitative visualization of collagen. Linear polarization imaging was performed on PSR stained artery sections. By rotating the slide at 60° intervals while maintaining illumination, polarization and exposure parameters, 6 images were acquired for each section. A composite image was created from the 6 co-registered images, and comprised of the maximum pixel intensity at each point. Images from any of the 6 rotation positions consistently showed variation in PSR signal. A composite image compensates for this variability, without loss of spatial resolution. Additionally, grayscale analysis showed an increased intensity range of 15 - 50% with a linearly polarized composite image over a circularly polarized image after background correction, indicating better SNR. This proposed technique will be applied in the development of a near infrared spectroscopy algorithm to detect vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques in vivo.

  5. Effects of Low Carbohydrate High Protein (LCHP) diet on atherosclerotic plaque phenotype in ApoE/LDLR−/− mice: FT-IR and Raman imaging

    PubMed Central

    Wrobel, T. P.; Marzec, K. M.; Chlopicki, S.; Maślak, E.; Jasztal, A.; Franczyk-Żarów, M.; Czyżyńska-Cichoń, I.; Moszkowski, T.; Kostogrys, R. B.; Baranska, M.

    2015-01-01

    Low Carbohydrate High Protein (LCHP) diet displays pro-atherogenic effects, however, the exact mechanisms involved are still unclear. Here, with the use of vibrational imaging, such as Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and Raman (RS) spectroscopies, we characterize biochemical content of plaques in Brachiocephalic Arteries (BCA) from ApoE/LDLR−/− mice fed LCHP diet as compared to control, recomended by American Institute of Nutrition, AIN diet. FT-IR images were taken from 6–10 sections of BCA from each mice and were complemented with RS measurements with higher spatial resolution of chosen areas of plaque sections. In aortic plaques from LCHP fed ApoE/LDLR−/− mice, the content of cholesterol and cholesterol esters was increased, while that of proteins was decreased as evidenced by global FT-IR analysis. High resolution imaging by RS identified necrotic core/foam cells, lipids (including cholesterol crystals), calcium mineralization and fibrous cap. The decreased relative thickness of the outer fibrous cap and the presence of buried caps were prominent features of the plaques in ApoE/LDLR−/− mice fed LCHP diet. In conclusion, FT-IR and Raman-based imaging provided a complementary insight into the biochemical composition of the plaque suggesting that LCHP diet increased plaque cholesterol and cholesterol esters contents of atherosclerotic plaque, supporting the cholesterol-driven pathogenesis of LCHP–induced atherogenesis. PMID:26391802

  6. Effects of Low Carbohydrate High Protein (LCHP) diet on atherosclerotic plaque phenotype in ApoE/LDLR-/- mice: FT-IR and Raman imaging.

    PubMed

    Wrobel, T P; Marzec, K M; Chlopicki, S; Maślak, E; Jasztal, A; Franczyk-Żarów, M; Czyżyńska-Cichoń, I; Moszkowski, T; Kostogrys, R B; Baranska, M

    2015-09-22

    Low Carbohydrate High Protein (LCHP) diet displays pro-atherogenic effects, however, the exact mechanisms involved are still unclear. Here, with the use of vibrational imaging, such as Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and Raman (RS) spectroscopies, we characterize biochemical content of plaques in Brachiocephalic Arteries (BCA) from ApoE/LDLR(-/-) mice fed LCHP diet as compared to control, recomended by American Institute of Nutrition, AIN diet. FT-IR images were taken from 6-10 sections of BCA from each mice and were complemented with RS measurements with higher spatial resolution of chosen areas of plaque sections. In aortic plaques from LCHP fed ApoE/LDLR(-/-) mice, the content of cholesterol and cholesterol esters was increased, while that of proteins was decreased as evidenced by global FT-IR analysis. High resolution imaging by RS identified necrotic core/foam cells, lipids (including cholesterol crystals), calcium mineralization and fibrous cap. The decreased relative thickness of the outer fibrous cap and the presence of buried caps were prominent features of the plaques in ApoE/LDLR(-/-) mice fed LCHP diet. In conclusion, FT-IR and Raman-based imaging provided a complementary insight into the biochemical composition of the plaque suggesting that LCHP diet increased plaque cholesterol and cholesterol esters contents of atherosclerotic plaque, supporting the cholesterol-driven pathogenesis of LCHP-induced atherogenesis.

  7. Intravascular ultrasound area strain imaging used to characterize tissue components and assess vulnerability of atherosclerotic plaques in a rabbit model.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xiao-Bo; Zhang, Peng-Fei; Su, Hai-Jun; Yi, Xin; Chen, Liang; Rong, Yuan-Yuan; Zhang, Ke; Li, Xuan; Wang, Lin; Sun, Chun-Li; Cai, Xiao-Jun; Li, Li; Song, Jian-Tao; Dai, Xiao-Min; Sui, Xiao-Di; Zhang, Yun; Zhang, Mei

    2011-10-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the association of area strain and tissue components and vulnerability of atherosclerotic plaques in a rabbit model. Forty purebred New Zealand rabbits underwent balloon-induced abdominal aorta endothelium injury, then a high-cholesterol diet for 24 weeks. Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) images of abdominal aortas were acquired in situ and two consecutive frames near the end-diastole were used to construct an IVUS elastogram. Histologic slices matched with corresponding IVUS images were stained for fatty and collagen components, smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and macrophages. Regions-of-interest (ROIs) in plaques were classified as fibrous, fibro-fatty or fatty according to histologic study. Vulnerability indexes of ROIs were calculated as (fat + macrophage)/(collagen + SMCs). The area strain of these ROIs was calculated by use of an in-house-designed software system with a block-matching-based algorithm. Area strain was significantly higher in fatty ROIs (0.056 ± 0.003) than in fibrous (0.019 ± 0.002, p < 0.001) or fibro-fatty ROIs (0.033 ± 0.003, p < 0.001). The sensitivity and specificity of area strain for fatty ROIs characterization was 75.0% and 80.2% (area under the curve [AUC] 0.858, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.800-0.916, p < 0.001) and 75.0% and 75.3% (AUC 0.859, 95% CI = 0.801-0.917, p < 0.001) for fibrous ROIs, as demonstrated by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. Area strain was positively correlated with vulnerability index (r(2) = 0.495, p < 0.001), fatty components (r(2) = 0.332, p < 0.001) and macrophage infiltration (r(2) = 0.406, p < 0.001); and negatively correlated with collagen and SMC composition (r(2) = 0.115 and r(2) = 0.169, p < 0.001, respectively). Area strain calculation with IVUS elastography based on digital B-mode analysis is feasible and can be useful for tissue characterization and plaque vulnerability assessment. PMID:21856069

  8. Subject-Specific Fully-Coupled and One-Way Fluid-Structure Interaction Models for Modeling of Carotid Atherosclerotic Plaques in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Tao, Xiaojuan; Gao, Peiyi; Jing, Lina; Lin, Yan; Sui, Binbin

    2015-01-01

    Background Hemodynamics play an important role in the development and progression of carotid atherosclerosis, and may be important in the assessment of plaque vulnerability. The aim of this study was to develop a system to assess the hemodynamics of carotid atherosclerotic plaques using subject-specific fluid-structure interaction (FSI) models based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Material/Methods Models of carotid bifurcations (n=86 with plaques from 52 patients, n=14 normal carotids from 12 participants) were obtained at the Department of Radiology, Beijing Tian Tan Hospital between 2010 and 2013. The maximum von Mises stress, minimum pressure, and flow velocity values were assessed at the most stenotic site in patients, or at the carotid bifurcations in healthy volunteers. Results of one-way FSI were compared with fully-coupled FSI for the plaques of 19 randomly selected models. Results The maximum von Mises stress and the minimum pressure and velocity were significantly increased in the stenosis group compared with controls based on one-way FSI (all P<0.05). The maximum von Mises stress and the minimum pressure were significantly higher and the velocity was significantly lower based on fully coupled FSI compared with on-way FSI (all P<0.05). Although there were differences in numerical values, both methods were equivalent. The maximum von Mises stress of vulnerable plaques was significantly higher than stable plaques (P<0.001). The maximum von Mises stress of the group with fibrous cap defect was significantly higher than the group without fibrous cap defect (P=0.001). Conclusions The hemodynamics of atherosclerotic plaques can be assessed noninvasively using subject-specific models of FSI based on MRI. PMID:26510514

  9. Mass Transport and Shear Stress as Mediators of Flow Effects on Atherosclerotic Plaque Origin and Growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorder, Riley; Aliseda, Alberto

    2009-11-01

    The carotid artery bifurcation (CAB) is one of the leading site for atherosclerosis, a major cause of mortality and morbidity in the developed world. The specific mechanisms by which perturbed flow at the bifurcation and in the carotid bulge promotes plaque formation and growth are not fully understood. Shear stress, mass transport, and flow residence times are considered dominant factors. Shear stress causes restructuring of endothelial cells at the arterial wall which changes the wall's permeability. Long residence times are associated with enhanced mass transport through increased diffusion of lipids and white blood cells into the arterial wall. Although momentum and mass transfer are traditionally coupled by correlations similar to Reynolds Analogy, the complex flow patterns present in this region due to the pulsatile, transitional, detached flow associated with the complex geometry makes the validity of commonly accepted assumptions uncertain. We create solid models of the CAB from MRI or ultrasound medical images, build flow phantoms on clear polyester resin and use an IOR matching, blood mimicking, working fluid. Using PIV and dye injection techniques the shear stress and scalar transport are experimentally investigated. Our goal is to establish a quantitative relationship between momentum and mass transfer under a wide range of physiologically normal and pathological conditions.

  10. Acyl-CoA:Diacylglycerol Acyltransferase 1 Expression Level in the Hematopoietic Compartment Impacts Inflammation in the Vascular Plaques of Atherosclerotic Mice

    PubMed Central

    Vujic, Nemanja; Porter Abate, Jess; Schlager, Stefanie; David, Tovo; Koliwad, Suneil K.

    2016-01-01

    The final step of triacylglycerol synthesis is catalyzed by acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferases (DGATs). We have previously shown that ApoE-/-Dgat1-/- mice are protected from developing atherosclerosis in association with reduced foam cell formation. However, the role of DGAT1, specifically in myeloid and other hematopoietic cell types, in determining this protective phenotype is unknown. To address this question, we reconstituted the bone marrow of irradiated Ldlr–/–mice with that from wild-type (WT→ Ldlr–/–) and Dgat1–/–(Dgat1–/–→ Ldlr–/–) donor mice. We noted that DGAT1 in the hematopoietic compartment exerts a sex-specific effect on systemic cholesterol homeostasis. However, both male and female Dgat1–/–→ Ldlr–/–mice had higher circulating neutrophil and lower lymphocyte counts than control mice, suggestive of a classical inflammatory phenotype. Moreover, specifically examining the aortae of these mice revealed that Dgat1–/–→ Ldlr–/–mice have atherosclerotic plaques with increased macrophage content. This increase was coupled to a reduced plaque collagen content, leading to a reduced collagen-to-macrophage ratio. Together, these findings point to a difference in the inflammatory contribution to plaque composition between Dgat1–/–→ Ldlr–/–and control mice. By contrast, DGAT1 deficiency did not affect the transcriptional responses of cultured macrophages to lipoprotein treatment in vitro, suggesting that the alterations seen in the plaques of Dgat1–/–→ Ldlr–/–mice in vivo do not reflect a cell intrinsic effect of DGAT1 in macrophages. We conclude that although DGAT1 in the hematopoietic compartment does not impact the overall lipid content of atherosclerotic plaques, it exerts reciprocal effects on inflammation and fibrosis, two processes that control plaque vulnerability. PMID:27223895

  11. Association of egg consumption and calcified atherosclerotic plaque in the coronary arteries: the NHLBI Family Heart Study

    PubMed Central

    Robbins, Jeremy M.; Petrone, Andrew B.; Ellison, R. Curtis; Hunt, Steven C.; Carr, J. Jeffrey; Heiss, Gerardo; Arnett, Donna K.; Gaziano, J. Michael; Djoussé, Luc

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Eggs are a ubiquitous and important source of dietary cholesterol and nutrients, yet their relationship to coronary heart disease (CHD) remains unclear. While some data have suggested a positive association between egg consumption and CHD, especially among diabetic subjects, limited data exist on the influence of egg consumption on subclinical disease. Thus, we sought to examine whether egg consumption is associated with calcified atherosclerotic plaques in the coronary arteries. Methods In a cross-sectional design, we studied 1848 participants of the NHLBI Family Heart Study without known CHD. Egg consumption was assessed by a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire and coronary-artery calcium (CAC) was measured by cardiac CT. We defined prevalent CAC using an Agatston score of at least 100 and fitted generalized estimating equations to calculate prevalence odds ratios of CAC. Results Mean age was 56.5 years and 41% were male. Median consumption of eggs was 1/week. There was no association between frequency of egg consumption and prevalent CAC. Odds ratios (95% CI) for CAC were 1.0 (reference), 0.95 (0.66-1.38), 0.94 (0.63-1.40), and 0.90 (0.57-1.42) for egg consumption of almost never, 1-3 times per month, once per week, and 2+ times per week, respectively (p for trend 0.66), adjusting for age, sex, BMI, smoking, alcohol, physical activity, income, field center, total calories, and bacon. Additional control for hypertension and diabetes mellitus, or restricting the analysis to subjects with diabetes mellitus or fasting glucose >126 mg/dL did not alter the findings. Conclusions These data do not provide evidence for an association between egg consumption and prevalent CAC in adult men and women. PMID:25642410

  12. The influence of constitutive law choice used to characterise atherosclerotic tissue material properties on computing stress values in human carotid plaques.

    PubMed

    Teng, Zhongzhao; Yuan, Jianmin; Feng, Jiaxuan; Zhang, Yongxue; Brown, Adam J; Wang, Shuo; Lu, Qingsheng; Gillard, Jonathan H

    2015-11-01

    Calculating high stress concentration within carotid atherosclerotic plaques has been shown to be complementary to anatomical features in assessing vulnerability. Reliability of stress calculation may depend on the constitutive laws/strain energy density functions (SEDFs) used to characterize tissue material properties. Different SEDFs, including neo-Hookean, one-/two-term Ogden, Yeoh, 5-parameter Mooney-Rivlin, Demiray and modified Mooney-Rivlin, have been used to describe atherosclerotic tissue behavior. However, the capacity of SEDFs to fit experimental data and the difference in the stress calculation remains unexplored. In this study, seven SEDFs were used to fit the stress-stretch data points of media, fibrous cap, lipid and intraplaque hemorrhage/thrombus obtained from 21 human carotid plaques. Semi-analytic solution, 2D structure-only and 3D fully coupled fluid-structure interaction (FSI) analyses were used to quantify stress using different SEDFs and the related material stability examined. Results show that, except for neo-Hookean, all other six SEDFs fitted the experimental points well, with vessel stress distribution in the circumferential and radial directions being similar. 2D structural-only analysis was successful for all seven SEDFs, but 3D FSI were only possible with neo-Hookean, Demiray and modified Mooney-Rivlin models. Stresses calculated using Demiray and modified Mooney-Rivlin models were nearly identical. Further analyses indicated that the energy contours of one-/two-term Ogden and 5-parameter Mooney-Rivlin models were not strictly convex and the material stability indictors under homogeneous deformations were not always positive. In conclusion, considering the capacity in characterizing material properties and stabilities, Demiray and modified Mooney-Rivlin SEDF appear practical choices for mechanical analyses to predict the critical mechanical conditions within carotid atherosclerotic plaques. PMID:26472305

  13. The influence of constitutive law choice used to characterise atherosclerotic tissue material properties on computing stress values in human carotid plaques

    PubMed Central

    Teng, Zhongzhao; Yuan, Jianmin; Feng, Jiaxuan; Zhang, Yongxue; Brown, Adam J.; Wang, Shuo; Lu, Qingsheng; Gillard, Jonathan H.

    2015-01-01

    Calculating high stress concentration within carotid atherosclerotic plaques has been shown to be complementary to anatomical features in assessing vulnerability. Reliability of stress calculation may depend on the constitutive laws/strain energy density functions (SEDFs) used to characterize tissue material properties. Different SEDFs, including neo-Hookean, one-/two-term Ogden, Yeoh, 5-parameter Mooney–Rivlin, Demiray and modified Mooney–Rivlin, have been used to describe atherosclerotic tissue behavior. However, the capacity of SEDFs to fit experimental data and the difference in the stress calculation remains unexplored. In this study, seven SEDFs were used to fit the stress–stretch data points of media, fibrous cap, lipid and intraplaque hemorrhage/thrombus obtained from 21 human carotid plaques. Semi-analytic solution, 2D structure-only and 3D fully coupled fluid-structure interaction (FSI) analyses were used to quantify stress using different SEDFs and the related material stability examined. Results show that, except for neo-Hookean, all other six SEDFs fitted the experimental points well, with vessel stress distribution in the circumferential and radial directions being similar. 2D structural-only analysis was successful for all seven SEDFs, but 3D FSI were only possible with neo-Hookean, Demiray and modified Mooney–Rivlin models. Stresses calculated using Demiray and modified Mooney–Rivlin models were nearly identical. Further analyses indicated that the energy contours of one-/two-term Ogden and 5-parameter Mooney–Rivlin models were not strictly convex and the material stability indictors under homogeneous deformations were not always positive. In conclusion, considering the capacity in characterizing material properties and stabilities, Demiray and modified Mooney–Rivlin SEDF appear practical choices for mechanical analyses to predict the critical mechanical conditions within carotid atherosclerotic plaques. PMID:26472305

  14. The influence of constitutive law choice used to characterise atherosclerotic tissue material properties on computing stress values in human carotid plaques.

    PubMed

    Teng, Zhongzhao; Yuan, Jianmin; Feng, Jiaxuan; Zhang, Yongxue; Brown, Adam J; Wang, Shuo; Lu, Qingsheng; Gillard, Jonathan H

    2015-11-01

    Calculating high stress concentration within carotid atherosclerotic plaques has been shown to be complementary to anatomical features in assessing vulnerability. Reliability of stress calculation may depend on the constitutive laws/strain energy density functions (SEDFs) used to characterize tissue material properties. Different SEDFs, including neo-Hookean, one-/two-term Ogden, Yeoh, 5-parameter Mooney-Rivlin, Demiray and modified Mooney-Rivlin, have been used to describe atherosclerotic tissue behavior. However, the capacity of SEDFs to fit experimental data and the difference in the stress calculation remains unexplored. In this study, seven SEDFs were used to fit the stress-stretch data points of media, fibrous cap, lipid and intraplaque hemorrhage/thrombus obtained from 21 human carotid plaques. Semi-analytic solution, 2D structure-only and 3D fully coupled fluid-structure interaction (FSI) analyses were used to quantify stress using different SEDFs and the related material stability examined. Results show that, except for neo-Hookean, all other six SEDFs fitted the experimental points well, with vessel stress distribution in the circumferential and radial directions being similar. 2D structural-only analysis was successful for all seven SEDFs, but 3D FSI were only possible with neo-Hookean, Demiray and modified Mooney-Rivlin models. Stresses calculated using Demiray and modified Mooney-Rivlin models were nearly identical. Further analyses indicated that the energy contours of one-/two-term Ogden and 5-parameter Mooney-Rivlin models were not strictly convex and the material stability indictors under homogeneous deformations were not always positive. In conclusion, considering the capacity in characterizing material properties and stabilities, Demiray and modified Mooney-Rivlin SEDF appear practical choices for mechanical analyses to predict the critical mechanical conditions within carotid atherosclerotic plaques.

  15. Image-based modeling for better understanding and assessment of atherosclerotic plaque progression and vulnerability: Data, modeling, validation, uncertainty and predictions

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Dalin; Kamm, Roger D.; Yang, Chun; Zheng, Jie; Canton, Gador; Bach, Richard; Huang, Xueying; Hatsukami, Thomas S.; Zhu, Jian; Ma, Genshan; Maehara, Akiko; Mintz, Gary S.; Yuan, Chun

    2014-01-01

    Medical imaging and image-based modeling have made considerable progress in recent years in identifying atherosclerotic plaque morphological and mechanical risk factors which may be used in developing improved patient screening strategies. However, a clear understanding is needed about what we have achieved and what is really needed to translate research to actual clinical practices and bring benefits to public health. Lack of in vivo data and clinical events to serve as gold standard to validate model predictions is a severe limitation. While this perspective paper provides a review of the key steps and findings of our group in image-based models for human carotid and coronary plaques and a limited review of related work by other groups, we also focus on grand challenges and uncertainties facing the researchers in the field to develop more accurate and predictive patient screening tools. PMID:24480706

  16. HDL and CER-001 Inverse-Dose Dependent Inhibition of Atherosclerotic Plaque Formation in apoE-/- Mice: Evidence of ABCA1 Down-Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Tardy, Claudine; Goffinet, Marine; Boubekeur, Nadia; Cholez, Guy; Ackermann, Rose; Sy, Gavin; Keyserling, Constance; Lalwani, Narendra; Paolini, John F.; Dasseux, Jean-Louis; Barbaras, Ronald; Baron, Rudi

    2015-01-01

    Objective CER-001 is a novel engineered HDL-mimetic comprised of recombinant human apoA-I and charged phospholipids that was designed to mimic the beneficial properties of nascent pre-ß HDL. In this study, we have evaluated the dose-dependent regulation of ABCA1 expression in vitro and in vivo in the presence of CER-001 and native HDL (HDL3). Methods and Results CER-001 induced cholesterol efflux from J774 macrophages in a dose-dependent manner similar to natural HDL. A strong down-regulation of the ATP-binding cassette A1 (ABCA1) transporter mRNA (- 50%) as well as the ABCA1 membrane protein expression (- 50%) was observed at higher doses of CER-001 and HDL3 compared to non-lipidated apoA-I. In vivo, in an apoE-/- mouse “flow cessation model,” in which the left carotid artery was ligatured to induce local inflammation, the inhibition of atherosclerotic plaque burden progression in response to a dose-range of every-other-day CER-001 or HDL in the presence of a high-fat diet for two weeks was assessed. We observed a U-shaped dose-response curve: inhibition of the plaque total cholesterol content increased with increasing doses of CER-001 or HDL3 up to a maximum inhibition (- 51%) at 5 mg/kg; however, as the dose was increased above this threshold, a progressively less pronounced inhibition of progression was observed, reaching a complete absence of inhibition of progression at doses of 20 mg/kg and over. ABCA1 protein expression in the same atherosclerotic plaque was decreased by-45% and-68% at 50 mg/kg for CER-001 and HDL respectively. Conversely, a-12% and 0% decrease in ABCA1 protein expression was observed at the 5 mg/kg dose for CER-001 and HDL respectively. Conclusions These data demonstrate that high doses of HDL and CER-001 are less effective at slowing progression of atherosclerotic plaque in apoE-/- mice compared to lower doses, following a U-shaped dose-response curve. A potential mechanism for this phenomenon is supported by the observation that

  17. Polymer-Lipid Hybrid Theranostic Nanoparticles Co-Delivering Ultrasmall Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide and Paclitaxel for Targeted Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Therapy in Atherosclerotic Plaque.

    PubMed

    Dong, Yinmei; Chen, Huaiwen; Chen, Chao; Zhang, Xuefeng; Tian, Xia; Zhang, Yingying; Shi, Zhang; Liu, Qi

    2016-06-01

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) combined with ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide (USPIO) is effective for the detection of atherosclerotic (AS) plaque, and paclitaxel is effective for the treatment of AS. C11 is a polypeptide with high affinity and specificity for collagen IV. It is abundantly expressed in the outer layer of AS plaque. This study aimed to develop USPIO + paclitaxel-loaded polymer-lipid hybrid theranostic nanoparticles conjugated with C11 (UP-NP-C11) for simultaneous imaging and treatment AS plaque. UP-NP-C11 was developed by the nanoprecipitation method, and the theranostics of AS plaque by UP-NP-C11 were evaluated both in vitro and in the rabbit AS model. UP-NP-C11 was of desired particle size (140.2 nm), showed encapsulation efficiency of 35.5% and 55.2% for USPIO and paclitaxel, respectively, and had drug release profile. The accumulation of USPIO in Matrigel (containing abundant collagen IV) and macrophages coated on the Matrigel was significantly higher in the UP-NP-C11-treated group than in the group treated by UP-NP (USPIO + paclitaxel-loaded nanoparticles). Thus, UP-NP-C11 exerted better growth inhibitory effect and MRI ability in macrophages than UP-NP. Significantly, UP-NP-C11 showed better in vivo MRI ability and therapeutic effect in rabbit AS plaque than UP-NP and commercial USPIO + paclitaxel, and Prussian blue staining revealed significantly greater accumulation of USPIOs in the UP-NP-C11-treated group than in the control group. Furthermore, UP-NP-C11 did not cause severe toxicity to the rabbits. UP-NP-C11 represents a potential approach for targeted MRI and therapy in AS plaque. PMID:27319218

  18. Manual planimetric measurement of carotid plaque volume using three-dimensional ultrasound imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Landry, Anthony; Ainsworth, Craig; Blake, Chris; Spence, J. David; Fenster, Aaron

    2007-04-15

    We investigated the utility of three manual planimetric methods to quantify carotid plaque volume. A single observer measured 15 individual plaques from 15 three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound (3D US) images of patients ten times each using three different planimetric approaches. Individual plaque volumes were measured (range: 32.6-597.1 mm{sup 3}) using a standard planimetric approach (M1) whereby a plaque end was identified and sequential contours were measured. The same plaques were measured using a second approach (M2), whereby plaque ends were first identified and the 3D US image of the plaque was then subdivided into equal intervals. A third method (M3) was used to measure total plaque burden (range: 165.1-1080.0 mm{sup 3}) in a region ({+-}1.5 cm) relative to the carotid bifurcation. M1 systematically underestimated individual plaque volume compared to M2 (V{sub 2}=V{sub 1}+14.0 mm{sup 3}, r=0.99, p=0.006) due to a difference in the mean plaque length measured. Coefficients of variance (CV) for M1 and M2 decrease with increasing plaque volume, with M2 results less than M1. Root mean square difference between experimental and theoretical CV for M2 was 3.2%. The standard deviation in the identification of the transverse location of the carotid bifurcation was 0.56 mm. CVs for plaque burden measured using M3 ranged from 1.2% to 7.6% and were less than CVs determined for individual plaque volumes of the same volume. The utility of M3 was demonstrated by measuring carotid plaque burden and volume change over a period of 3 months in three patients. In conclusion, M2 was determined to be a more superior measurement technique than M1 to measure individual plaque volume. Furthermore, we demonstrated the utility of M3 to quantify regional plaque burden and to quantify change in plaque volume.

  19. The Arginine/ADMA Ratio Is Related to the Prevention of Atherosclerotic Plaques in Hypercholesterolemic Rabbits When Giving a Combined Therapy with Atorvastatine and Arginine

    PubMed Central

    Brinkmann, Saskia J. H.; Wörner, Elisabeth A.; Buijs, Nikki; Richir, Milan; Cynober, Luc; van Leeuwen, Paul A. M.; Couderc, Rémy

    2015-01-01

    Supplementation with arginine in combination with atorvastatin is more efficient in reducing the size of an atherosclerotic plaque than treatment with a statin or arginine alone in homozygous Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic (WHHL) rabbits. We evaluated the mechanism behind this feature by exploring the role of the arginine/asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) ratio, which is the substrate and inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and thereby nitric oxide (NO), respectively. Methods: Rabbits were fed either an arginine diet (group A, n = 9), standard rabbit chow plus atorvastatin (group S, n = 8), standard rabbit chow plus an arginine diet with atorvastatin (group SA, n = 8) or standard rabbit chow (group C, n = 9) as control. Blood was sampled and the aorta was harvested for topographic and histological analysis. Plasma levels of arginine, ADMA, cholesterol and nitric oxide were determined and the arginine/ADMA ratio was calculated. Results: The decrease in ADMA levels over time was significantly correlated to fewer aortic lesions in the distal aorta and total aorta. The arginine/ADMA ratio was correlated to cholesterol levels and decrease in cholesterol levels over time in the SA group. A lower arginine/ADMA ratio was significantly correlated to lower NO levels in the S and C group. Discussion: A balance between arginine and ADMA is an important indicator in the prevention of the development of atherosclerotic plaques. PMID:26035753

  20. On the effect of calcification volume and configuration on the mechanical behaviour of carotid plaque tissue.

    PubMed

    Barrett, H E; Cunnane, E M; Kavanagh, E G; Walsh, M T

    2016-03-01

    Vascular calcification is a complex molecular process that exhibits a number of relatively characteristic morphology patterns in atherosclerotic plaques. Treatment of arterial stenosis by endovascular intervention, involving forceful circumferential expansion of the plaque, can be unpredictable in calcified lesions. The aim of this study was to determine the mechanical stretching mechanisms and define the mechanical limits for circumferentially expanding carotid plaque lesions under the influence of distinct calcification patterns. Mechanical and structural characterisation was performed on 17 human carotid plaques acquired from patients undergoing endarterectomy procedures. The mechanical properties were determined using uniaxial extension tests that stretch the lesions to complete failure along their circumferential axis. Calcification morphology of mechanically ruptured plaque lesions was characterised using high resolution micro computed tomography imaging. Scanning electron microscopy was used to examine the mechanically induced failure sites and to identify the interface boundary conditions between calcified and non-calcified tissue. The mechanical tests produced four distinct trends in mechanical behaviour which corresponded to the calcification patterns that structurally defined each mechanical group. Each calcification pattern produced unique mechanical restraining effects on the plaque tissue stretching properties evidenced by the variation in degree of stretch to failure. Resistance to failure appears to rely on interactions between calcification and non-calcified tissue. Scanning electron microscopy examination revealed structural gradations at interface boundary conditions to facilitate the transfer of stress. This study emphasises the mechanical influence of distinct calcification configurations on plaque expansion properties and highlights the importance of pre-operative lesion characterisation to optimise treatment outcomes.

  1. Apoptosis is abundant in human atherosclerotic lesions, especially in inflammatory cells (macrophages and T cells), and may contribute to the accumulation of gruel and plaque instability.

    PubMed Central

    Björkerud, S.; Björkerud, B.

    1996-01-01

    Death of intimal tissue may lead to plaque rupture with thrombosis, which is the basis of the most severe clinical consequences of atherosclerosis. Little is known about the mechanisms that promote intimal cell death or its nature. This work was undertaken to elucidate the extent to which, the cell types in which, and where programmed cell death, apoptosis, might occur in atherosclerotic lesions. The material was fibrous or fibro-fatty non-ulcerated lesions from the human thoracic aorta and coronary arteries. Apoptosis was indicated by the in situ labeling of internucleosomally degraded DNA with the TUNEL technique, which has a preference for apoptosis as compared with cell necrosis and was combined with the immunohistochemical typing of cells. Apoptosis was corroborated by morphological criteria on the light and electron microscope levels and by the presence of an apoptosis-specific protein. It was common in the lesions and virtually absent in non-atherosclerotic regions. It occurred in smooth muscle cells subendothelially, in places of the fibrous cap, and in the underlying media, which may destabilize the plaque and promote rupture. Inflammatory cells, ie, macrophages and T cells, appeared abundantly subendothelially, in the fibrous cap, and in the shoulder regions, and apoptosis was common, maybe reflecting a means for quenching of the inflammatory reaction. Many macrophages contained abundant apoptotic material indicative of phagocytosis of apoptotic cells, but the occurrence of apoptosis, even in some of these cells, and of apoptotic material extracellularly and the very high numbers of apoptotic cells that were encountered may indicate insufficient mechanisms for the removal of apoptotic cells in the atherosclerotic lesion. It is not possible to decide as yet whether this is due to overloading with cellular material by inflammation and cell multiplication, to an increased frequency of apoptosis, to a reduction of the removal/degradation of apoptotic material

  2. ACAT inhibition reduces the progression of pre-existing, advanced atherosclerotic mouse lesions without plaque or systemic toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Rong, James X.; Blachford, Courtney; Feig, Jonathan E.; Bander, Ilda; Mayne, Jeffrey; Kusunoki, Jun; Miller, Christine; Davis, Matthew; Wilson, Martha; Dehn, Shirley; Thorp, Edward; Tabas, Ira; Taubman, Mark B.; Rudel, Lawrence L.; Fisher, Edward A.

    2013-01-01

    Objective Acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) converts cholesterol to cholesteryl esters in plaque foam cells. Complete deficiency of macrophage ACAT has been shown to increase atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic mice due to cytotoxicity from free cholesterol accumulation, while we previously showed that partial ACAT inhibition by Fujirebio compound F1394 decreased early atherosclerosis development. In this report, we tested F1394 effects on pre-established, advanced lesions of apoE-/- mice. Methods & Results ApoE-/- mice on Western diet for 14 weeks developed advanced plaques, and were either sacrificed (“Baseline”), or continued on Western diet without or with F1394 and sacrificed after 14 more weeks. F1394 was not associated with systemic toxicity. Compared to the baseline group, lesion size progressed in both groups; however, F1394 significantly retarded plaque progression, and reduced plaque macrophage, free and esterified cholesterol, and tissue factor contents compared to the untreated group. Apoptosis of plaque cells was not increased, consistent with the decrease in lesional free cholesterol, plaque necrosis was not increased, and efferocytosis (phagocytic clearance of apoptotic cells) was not impaired. The effects of F1394 were independent of changes in plasma cholesterol levels. Conclusions Partial ACAT inhibition by F1394 lowered plaque cholesterol content and had other antiatherogenic effects in advanced lesions in apoE-/- mice without overt systemic or plaque toxicity, suggesting the continued potential of ACAT inhibition for the clinical treatment of atherosclerosis in spite of recent trial data. PMID:23139293

  3. Chronic exposure to biomass fuel is associated with increased carotid artery intima-media thickness and a higher prevalence of atherosclerotic plaque

    PubMed Central

    Painschab, Matthew S; Davila-Roman, Victor G; Gilman, Robert H; Vasquez-Villar, Angel D; Pollard, Suzanne L; Wise, Robert A; Miranda, J Jaime; Checkley, William

    2015-01-01

    Background Biomass fuels are used for cooking in the majority of rural households worldwide. While their use is associated with an increased risk of lung diseases and all-cause mortality, the effects on cardiovascular disease (CVD) are not well characterised. Exposure to biomass fuel smoke has been associated with lung-mediated inflammation and oxidative stress, which may increase the risk of atherosclerosis as evaluated by carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), carotid atherosclerotic plaque prevalence and blood pressure. Methods A cross-sectional study was performed in 266 adults aged ≥35 years in Puno, Peru (3825 m above sea level). We stratified participants by their long-term history of exposure to clean fuel (n=112) or biomass fuel (n=154) and measured 24 h indoor particulate matter (PM2.5) in a random subset (n=84). Participants completed questionnaires and underwent a clinical assessment, laboratory analyses and carotid artery ultrasound. The main outcome measures were CIMT, carotid plaque and blood pressure. Results The groups were similar in age and gender. The biomass fuel group had greater unadjusted mean CIMT (0.66 vs 0.60 mm; p<0.001), carotid plaque prevalence (26% vs 14%; p=0.03), systolic blood pressure (118 vs 111 mm Hg; p<0.001) and median household PM2.5 (280 vs 14 μg/m3; p<0.001). In multivariable regression, the biomass fuel group had greater mean CIMT (mean difference=0.03 mm, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.06; p=0.02), a higher prevalence of carotid plaques (OR=2.6, 95% CI 1.1 to 6.0; p=0.03) and higher systolic blood pressure (mean difference=9.2 mm Hg, 95% CI 5.4 to 13.0; p<0.001). Conclusions Chronic exposure to biomass fuel was associated with increased CIMT, increased prevalence of atherosclerotic plaques and higher blood pressure. These findings identify biomass fuel use as a risk factor for CVD, which may have important global health implications. PMID:23619984

  4. 3D assessment of the carotid artery vessel wall volume: an imaging biomarker for diagnosis of the atherosclerotic disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afshin, Mariam; Maraj, Tishan; Binesh Marvasti, Tina; Singh, Navneet; Moody, Alan

    2016-03-01

    This study investigates a novel method of 3D evaluation of the carotid vessel wall using two different Magnetic Resonance (MR) sequences. The method focuses on energy minimization by level-set curve boundary evolution. The level-set framework allows for the introduction of prior knowledge that is learnt from some images on the solution. The lumen is detected using a 3D TOF sequence. The lumen MRA segmentation (contours) was then transferred and registered to the corresponding images on the Magnetic Resonance Imaging plaque hemorrhage (MRIPH) sequence. The 3D registration algorithm was applied to align the sequences. The same technique used for lumen detection was then applied to extract the outer wall boundary. Our preliminary results show that the segmentations are well correlated with those obtained from a 2D reference sequence (2D-T1W). The estimated Vessel Wall Volume (VWV) can be used as an imaging biomarker to help radiologists diagnose and monitor atherosclerotic disease. Furthermore, the 3D map of the Vessel Wall Thickness (WVT) and Vessel Wall Signal Intensity may be used as complementary information to monitor disease severity.

  5. Human atherosclerotic plaque alternative macrophages display low cholesterol handling but high phagocytosis because of distinct activities of the PPARɣ and LXRα pathways

    PubMed Central

    Chinetti-Gbaguidi, Giulia; Baron, Morgane; Bouhlel, Mohamed Amine; Vanhoutte, Jonathan; Copin, Corinne; Sebti, Yasmine; Derudas, Bruno; Mayi, Thérèse; Bories, Gael; Tailleux, Anne; Haulon, Stéphane; Zawadzki, Christophe; Jude, Brigitte; Staels, Bart

    2011-01-01

    Rationale A crucial step in atherogenesis is the infiltration of the sub-endothelial space of large arteries by monocytes where they differentiate into macrophages and transform into lipid-loaded foam cells. Macrophages are heterogeneous cells which adapt their response to environmental cytokines. Th1 cytokines promote monocyte differentiation into M1 macrophages, while Th2 cytokines trigger an “alternative” M2 phenotype. Objective We previously reported the presence of CD68+MR+ M2 macrophages in human atherosclerotic plaques. However, the function of these plaque CD68+MR+ macrophages is still unknown. Methods and Results Histological analysis revealed that CD68+MR+ locate far from the lipid core of the plaque and contain smaller lipid droplets compared to CD68+MR− macrophages. IL-4 polarized CD68+MR+ display a reduced capacity to handle and efflux cellular cholesterol due to low expression levels of the nuclear receptor Liver X Receptor (LXR)α and its target genes, ABCA1 and ApoE, caused by the high 15-lipoxygenase activity in CD68+MR+ macrophages. By contrast, CD68+MR+ highly express opsonins and receptors involved in phagocytosis resulting in high phagocytic activity. In M2 macrophages, Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated receptor (PPAR)γ activation enhances the phagocytic, but not the cholesterol trafficking pathways. Conclusions These data identify a distinct macrophage sub-population with a low susceptibility to become foam cells, but high phagocytic activity due to different regulatory activities of the PPARγ-LXRα pathways. PMID:21350215

  6. A proof-of-concept study for predicting the region of atherosclerotic plaque development based on plaque growth modeling in carotid arteries.

    PubMed

    Sakellarios, Antonis I; Bizopoulos, Paschalis; Stefanou, Kostas; Athanasiou, Lambros S; Papafaklis, Michail I; Bourantas, Christos V; Naka, Katerina K; Michalis, Lampros K; Fotiadis, Dimitrios I

    2015-01-01

    In this work, we present a computational model for plaque growth utilizing magnetic resonance data of a patient's carotid artery. More specifically, we model blood flow utilizing the Navier-Stokes equations, as well as LDL and HDL transport using the convection-diffusion equation in the arterial lumen. The accumulated LDL in the arterial wall is oxidized considering the protective effect of HDL. Macrophages recruitment and foam cells formation are the final step of the proposed multi-level modeling approach of the plaque growth. The simulated results of our model are compared with the follow-up MRI findings in 12 months regarding the change to the arterial wall thickness. WSS and LDL may indicate potential regions of plaque growth (R(2)=0.35), but the contribution of foam cells formation, macrophages and oxidized LDL increased the prediction significantly (R(2)=0.75). PMID:26737794

  7. The Clinical Value of High-Intensity Signals on the Coronary Atherosclerotic Plaques: Noncontrast T1-Weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Ehara, Shoichi; Matsumoto, Kenji; Shimada, Kenei

    2016-01-01

    Over the past several decades, significant progress has been made in the pathohistological assessment of vulnerable plaques and in invasive intravascular imaging techniques. However, the assessment of plaque morphology by invasive modalities is of limited value for the detection of subclinical coronary atherosclerosis and the subsequent prediction or prevention of acute cardiovascular events. Recently, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging technology has reached a sufficient level of spatial resolution, which allowed the plaque visualization of large and static arteries such as the carotids and aorta. However, coronary wall imaging by MR is still challenging due to the small size of coronary arteries, cardiac and respiratory motion, and the low contrast-to-noise ratio between the coronary artery wall and the surrounding structures. Following the introduction of carotid plaque imaging with noncontrast T1-weighted imaging (T1WI), some investigators have reported that coronary artery high-intensity signals on T1WI are associated with vulnerable plaque morphology and an increased risk of future cardiac events. Although there are several limitations and issues that need to be resolved, this novel MR technique for coronary plaque imaging could influence treatment strategies for atherothrombotic disease and may be useful for understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms of atherothrombotic plaque formation. PMID:27455243

  8. TU-F-12A-06: BEST IN PHYSICS (IMAGING) - A Novel Catheter-Based Radionuclide Imaging System to Characterize Atherosclerotic Plaque

    SciTech Connect

    Zaman, R; Kosuge, H; Carpenter, C; Pratx, G; Sun, C; McConnell, M; Xing, L

    2014-06-15

    Purpose: Atherosclerosis underlies coronary artery diseases, the leading cause of death in the United States and worldwide. In this study, we developed a novel catheter-based radionuclide imaging (CRI) system to image 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG), a radionuclide, a marker of vascular inflammation, in murine carotid arteries and characterized the system for spatial resolution from multiple scintillating materials. Methods: The catheter system includes 35 mm and 8 mm fixed focal length lenses, which are subsequently connected to a CMOS camera and fiber holder. The distal ferrule of an image bundle is terminated with a wide-angle lens. The novelty of this system is a scintillating balloon with a crystal tip in the front of the wide angle lens to image light from the decay of 18F-FDG emission signal. The scintillating balloon is fabricated from 1mL of silicone RTV catalyst mixed with 1 mL base and 50 mg/mL calcium fluoride doped with Europium (CaF2:Eu). To identify the optimal scintillating materials with respect to resolution, we calculated modulation transfer function (MTF) of Yttrium Aluminum Garnet doped with Cerium (YAG:Ce), anthracene, and CaF2:Eu phosphors using a thin line optical phantom (Fig. 1a-1b). Macrophage-rich FVB murine atherosclerotic carotid plaque model (n = 4) was used in ex vivo experiments. Confirmatory imaging was also performed by an external optical imaging system (IVIS-200). Results: Analysis of the different phosphors (Fig 1b) showed that CaF2:Eu enabled the best resolution of 1.2μm. The CRI system visualized 18F-FDG in atherosclerotic plaques (Fig. 1d). The ligated left carotid (LR) artery exhibited 4× higher 18F-FDG signal intensity compared to the non-ligated right carotid (negative control) artery (1.65×10{sup 2} ±4.07×10{sup 1} vs. 4.44×10{sup 1}±2.17×10{sup 0}, A.U., p = 0.005) and confirmed with IVIS-200 (Fig. 1d). Conclusion: This CRI system enables high-resolution and sensitive detection of 18F-FDG uptake by murine

  9. Association between serum N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide levels and characteristics of coronary atherosclerotic plaque detected by coronary computed tomography angiography

    PubMed Central

    Gan, Lu; Feng, Cong; Liu, Chunlei; Tian, Shuping; Song, Xiang; Yang, Li

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to explore the association between the levels of serum N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-pro BNP) and the characteristics of coronary atherosclerotic plaque detected by coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA), in patients with unstable angina (UA). A total of 202 patients (age range, 47–82 years) were divided into the following three groups: Non-cardiac disease group (57 patients); stable angina pectoris (SAP) group (62 patients); and UA group (83 patients). There were significant differences between the serum NT-pro BNP levels among the three groups (P=0.007). However, in multivariant diagnoses, NT-pro BNP level was not an independent risk factor for UA. The levels of serum NT-pro BNP were observed to be positively correlated with the number of vessels involved (r=0.462; P<0.001), SIS (r=0.475; P<0.001), segment-stenosis score (r=0.453; P<0.001), coronary calcification score (r=0.412; P=0.001), number of obstructive diseases (r=0.346; P<0.001), and the number of segments with non-calcified plaque (r=0.235; P=0.017), mixed plaque (r=0.234; P=0.017) and calcified plaque (r=0.431; P<0.001). The levels of serum NT-pro BNP were significantly higher in patients with UA and left main-left anterior descending (LM-LAD) disease, compared with UA patients without LM-LAD disease (P<0.001). In addition, serum NT-pro BNP was significantly higher in patients with obstructive disease and UA than in those without obstructive disease (P<0.001). The area under the curve of log(NT-pro BNP) was 0.656 (P=0.006; optimal cut-off value, 1.74; sensitivity, 77.6%; specificity, 51.9%). In conclusion, the levels of serum NT-pro BNP are associated with the burden and severity of coronary artery atherosclerotic disease in patients with UA, and may be helpful in risk stratification of patients with UA. PMID:27446259

  10. Atherosclerotic plaque behind the stent changes after bare-metal and drug-eluting stent implantation in humans: implications for late stent failure?

    PubMed Central

    Andreou, Ioannis; Takahashi, Saeko; Tsuda, Masaya; Shishido, Koki; Antoniadis, Antonios P.; Papafaklis, Michail I.; Mizuno, Shingo; Coskun, Ahmet U.; Saito, Shigeru; Feldman, Charles L.; Edelman, Elazer R.; Stone, Peter H.

    2016-01-01

    Background and aims The natural history and the role of atherosclerotic plaque located behind the stent (PBS) are still poorly understood. We evaluated the serial changes in PBS following bare-metal (BMS) compared to first-generation drug-eluting stent (DES) implantation and the impact of these changes on in-stent neointimal hyperplasia (NIH). Methods Three-dimensional coronary reconstruction by angiography and intravascular ultrasound was performed after intervention and at 6–10-month follow-up in 157 patients with 188 lesions treated with BMS (n=89) and DES (n=99). Results There was a significant decrease in PBS area (−7.2%; p<0.001) and vessel area (−1.7%; p<0.001) after BMS and a respective increase in both areas after DES implantation (6.1%; p<0.001 and 4.1%; p<0.001, respectively). The decrease in PBS area significantly predicted neointimal area at follow-up after BMS (β: 0.15; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.10–0.20, p<0.001) and DES (β: 0.09; 95% CI: 0.07–0.11; p<0.001) implantation. The decrease in PBS area was the most powerful predictor of significant NIH after BMS implantation (odds ratio: 1.13; 95% CI: 1.02–1.26; p=0.02). Conclusions The decrease in PBS area after stent implantation is significantly associated with the magnitude of NIH development at follow-up. This finding raises the possibility of a communication between the lesion within the stent and the underlying native atherosclerotic plaque, and may have important implications regarding the pathobiology of in-stent restenosis and late/very late stent thrombosis. PMID:27494445

  11. Distribution of selected elements in atherosclerotic plaques of apoE/LDLR-double knockout mice subjected to dietary and pharmacological treatments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gajda, Mariusz; Kowalska, Joanna; Banaś, Agnieszka; Banaś, Krzysztof; Kwiatek, Wojciech M.; Kostogrys, Renata B.; Mateuszuk, łukasz; ChŁopicki, Stefan; Litwin, Jan A.; Appel, Karen

    2011-10-01

    Gene-targeted, apolipoprotein E and LDL receptor-double knockout (apoE/LDLR -/-) mice represent a new animal model that displays severe hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis. The aim of the present study was to show changes in histomorphology and in distribution of selected elements in atherosclerotic plaques of apoE/LDLR -/- mice fed egg-rich proatherosclerotic diet (5% egg-yolk lyophilisate) supplemented or not with perindopril (inhibitor of angiotensin converting enzyme; 2 mg/kg b.w.). Synchrotron radiation micro-X-ray fluorescence spectrometry was combined with histological stainings to determine distribution and concentration of trace and essential elements in atherosclerotic lesions. More advanced atherosclerotic lesions expressed by total area occupied by lipids (oil red-O staining) and by macrophages (CD68 immunohistochemistry) were observed in animals fed egg-rich diet. The perindopril treatment attenuated these effects. No significant differences were observed in the number of intimal smooth muscle cells (smooth muscle actin immunohistochemistry). In animals fed egg-rich diet significantly higher concentrations of Ca and significantly lower contents of S, Cl, , Fe, Cu, Zn and Se in atheromas were seen in comparison to chow diet-fed animals. After pharmacological treatment, concentrations of S, Cl, Fe, Cu, Zn and Se showed the tendency to achieve levels like in animals fed normal diet. K level differed only in group treated with perindopril. Concentration of P did not significantly vary in all experimental groups. Perindopril showed its potency to reduce atherosclerosis, as estimated by the size of the atheroma and content of pro- and antiatherogenic elements.

  12. Effect of garlic supplementation on erythrocytes antioxidant parameters, lipid peroxidation, and atherosclerotic plaque formation process in oxidized oil-fed rabbits.

    PubMed

    Zalejska-Fiolka, Jolanta; Kasperczyk, Aleksandra; Kasperczyk, Sławomir; Błaszczyk, Urszula; Birkner, Ewa

    2007-01-01

    Effect of garlic supplementation on blood antioxidant status, lipid peroxidation, and coronary plaque formation process was investigated in oxidized oil-fed rabbits. Eighteen adult male mixed European rabbits were given a balanced diet (21 g% protein, 34 g% fat, 45 g% carbohydrate), which contained isocaloristic addition of nonoxidized or oxidized rapeseed oil in the presence and absence of garlic. The experiment lasted 24 weeks. At the beginning and every 6 weeks, rabbits were weighed, and blood was taken. To evaluate the antioxidant status of the rabbits, erythrocytes malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration, total superoxide dismutase (t-SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activations were determined. After the experiment was completed, aortas were dissected for histological examinations. Changes in the contents of the above parameters and histological examinations showed that oxidized rapeseed, oil administered to rabbits, caused the development of atherosclerotic changes and disturbed antioxidant status. The addition of garlic in such diets inhibited atherosclerotic changes in the aorta wall, and it is related to the homeostatic activity of antioxidative enzymes and lipid peroxidation.

  13. Coronary Atherosclerotic Plaque Detected by Computed Tomographic Angiography in Subjects with Diabetes Compared to Those without Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Khazai, Bahram; Luo, Yanting; Rosenberg, Steven; Wingrove, James; Budoff, Matthew J

    2015-01-01

    Objectives Little data are available regarding coronary plaque composition and semi-quantitative scores in individuals with diabetes; the extent to which diabetes may affect the presence and extent of Coronary Artery Calcium (CAC) needs more evaluation. Considering that this information may be of great value in formulating preventive interventions in this population, we compared these findings in individuals with diabetes to those without. Methods Multi-Detector Computed Tomographic (MDCT) images of 861 consecutive patients with diabetes who were referred to Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute from January 2000 to September 2012, were evaluated using a 15–coronary segment model. All 861 patients underwent calcium scoring and from these; 389 had coronary CT angiography (CTA). CAC score was compared to 861 age, sex and ethnicity matched controls without diabetes after adjustment for Body Mass Index (BMI), family history of coronary artery disease, hyperlipidemia, hypertension and smoking. Segment Involvement Score (SIS; the total number of segments with any plaque), Segment Stenosis Score (SSS; the sum of maximal stenosis score per segment), Total Plaque Score (TPS; the sum of the plaque amount per segment) and plaque compositionwere compared to 389 age, sex and ethnicity matched controls without diabetes after adjustment for BMI, family history of coronary artery disease, hyperlipidemia, hypertension and smoking. Results Diabetes was positively correlated to the presence and extent of CAC (P<0.0001 for both). SIS, SSS and TPS were significantly higher in those with diabetes (P<0.0001). Number of mixed and calcified plaques were significantly higher in those with diabetes (P = 0.018 and P<0.001 respectively) but there was no significant difference in the number of non-calcified plaques between the two groups (P = 0.398). Conclusions Patients with diabetes have higher CAC and semi-quantitative coronary plaque scores compared to the age, gender and ethnicity

  14. Carotid atherosclerotic plaque characterisation by measurement of ultrasound sound speed in vitro at high frequency, 20 MHz.

    PubMed

    Brewin, M P; Srodon, P D; Greenwald, S E; Birch, M J

    2014-02-01

    This study aimed to utilise a tissue mimicking material (TMM) in order to embed in vitro carotid plaque tissue so that its acoustic properties could be assessed. Here, an International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) agar-based TMM was adapted to a clear gel by removal of the particulates. This clear TMM was measured with sound speed at 1540 ms(-1) and an attenuation coefficient of 0.15 dB cm(-1)MHz(-1). Composite sound speed was then measured through the embedded material using a scanning acoustic microscope (SAM). Both broadband reflection and transmission techniques were performed on each plaque specimen in order to ensure the consistency of the measurement of sound speed, both at 21 °C and 37 °C. The plaque was measured at two temperatures to investigate any effect on the lipid content of the plaque. The contour maps from its associated attenuation plots were used to match the speed data to the photographic mask of the plaque outline. This physical matching was then used to derive the sound speed from the percentage composition seen in the histological data by solution of simultaneous equations. Individual speed values for five plaque components were derived; TMM, elastin, fibrous/collagen, calcification and lipid. The results for derived sound speed in the TMM were consistently close to the expected value of soft tissue, 1540 ms(-1). The fibrous tissue showed a mean value of 1584 ms(-1) at 37 °C. The derived sound speeds for elastic and lipid exhibited large inter-quartile ranges. The calcification had higher sound speed than the other plaque components at 1760-2000 ms(-1). The limitations here lay in the difficulties in the matching process caused by the inhomogeneity of the plaque material and shrinkage during the histological process. Future work may concentrate on more homogeneous material in order to derive sound speed data for separate components. Nevertheless, this study increases the known data ranges of the individual components within a plaque

  15. Assessment of atherosclerotic plaque collagen content and architecture using polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (Conference Presentation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doradla, Pallavi; Villiger, Martin; Tshikudi, Diane M.; Bouma, Brett E.; Nadkarni, Seemantini K.

    2016-02-01

    Acute myocardial infarction, caused by the rupture of vulnerable coronary plaques, is the leading cause of death worldwide. Collagen is the primary extracellular matrix macromolecule that imparts the mechanical stability to a plaque and its reduction causes plaque instability. Intracoronary polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) measures the polarization states of the backscattered light from the tissue to evaluate plaque birefringence, a material property that is elevated in proteins such as collagen with an ordered structure. Here we investigate the dependence of the PS-OCT parameters on the quantity of the plaque collagen and fiber architecture. In this study, coronary arterial segments from human cadaveric hearts were evaluated with intracoronary PS-OCT and compared with Histopathological assessment of collagen content and architecture from picrosirius-red (PSR) stained sections. PSR sections were visualized with circularly-polarized light microscopy to quantify collagen birefringence, and the additional assessment of color hue indicated fibril thickness. Due to the ordered architecture of thick collagen fibers, a positive correlation between PS-OCT retardation and quantity of thick collagen fibers (r=0.54, p=0.04), and similarly with the total collagen content (r=0.51, p=0.03) was observed. In contrast, there was no perceivable relationship between PS-OCT retardation and the presence of thin collagen fibers (r=0.08, p=0.07), suggesting that thin and disorganized collagen fiber architecture did not significantly contribute to the PS-OCT retardation. Further analysis will be performed to assess the relationship between PS-OCT retardation and collagen architecture based on immunohistochemical analysis of collagen type. These results suggest that intracoronary PS-OCT may open the opportunity to assess collagen architecture in addition total collagen content, potentially enabling an improved understanding of coronary plaque rupture.

  16. The Use of Contrast-enhanced Ultrasonography for Imaging of Carotid Atherosclerotic Plaques: Current Evidence, Future Directions.

    PubMed

    Saha, Sandeep A; Gourineni, Venu; Feinstein, Steven B

    2016-02-01

    Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) is a rapidly evolving modality for imaging carotid artery disease and systemic atherosclerosis. CEUS coupled with diagnostic ultrasonography predicts the degree of carotid artery stenosis and is comparable with computed tomography and magnetic resonance angiography. This article reviews the literature on the evolving role of CEUS for the identification and characterization of carotid plaques with an emphasis on detection of intra-plaque neovascularization and related high-risk morphologic features notably present in symptomatic patients. CEUS carotid imaging may play a prominent additive role in risk stratifying patients and serve as a powerful tool for monitoring therapeutic interventions.

  17. Detection of Vulnerable Atherosclerotic Plaque and Prediction of Thrombosis Events in a Rabbit Model Using 18F-FDG -PET/CT

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Quan-ming; Zhao, Xin; Feng, Ting-ting; Zhang, Ming-duo; Zhuang, Xu-cui; Zhao, Xue-cheng; Li, Li-qin; Li, De-peng; Liu, Yu

    2013-01-01

    Background Detection of vulnerable plaques could be clinically significant in the prevention of cardiovascular events. We aimed to compare Fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) uptake in vulnerable and stable plaques, and investigate the feasibility of predicting thrombosis events using Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT) angiography. Methods Atherosclerosis was induced in 23 male New Zealand white rabbits. The rabbits underwent pharmacological triggering to induce thrombosis. A pre-triggered PET/CTA scan and a post-triggered PET/CTA scan were respectively performed. 18F-FDG uptake by the aorta was expressed as maximal standardized uptake value (SUVmax) and mean SUV (SUVmean). SUVs were measured on serial 7.5 mm arterial segments. Results Thrombosis was identified in 15 of 23 rabbits. The pre-triggered SUVmean and SUVmax were 0.768±0.111 and 0.804±0.120, respectively, in the arterial segments with stable plaque, and 1.097±0.189 and 1.229±0.290, respectively, in the arterial segments with vulnerable plaque (P<0.001, respectively). The post-triggered SUVmean and SUVmax were 0.849±0.167 and 0.906±0.191, respectively in the arterial segments without thrombosis, and 1.152±0.258 and 1.294±0.313, respectively in the arterial segments with thrombosis (P<0.001, respectively). The values of SUVmean in the pre-triggered arterial segments were used to plot a receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) for predicting thrombosis events. Area under the curve (AUC) was 0.898. Maximal sensitivity and specificity (75.4% and 88.5%, respectively) were obtained when SUVmean was 0.882. Conclusions Vulnerable and stable plaques can be distinguished by quantitative analysis of 18F-FDG uptake in the arterial segments in this rabbit model. PET/CT may be used for predicting thrombosis events and risk-stratification in patients with atherosclerotic disease. PMID:23613798

  18. Chronic Internal Exposure to Low Dose 137Cs Induces Positive Impact on the Stability of Atherosclerotic Plaques by Reducing Inflammation in ApoE-/- Mice.

    PubMed

    Le Gallic, Clélia; Phalente, Yohann; Manens, Line; Dublineau, Isabelle; Benderitter, Marc; Gueguen, Yann; Lehoux, Stephanie; Ebrahimian, Teni G

    2015-01-01

    After Chernobyl and Fukushima Daï Chi, two major nuclear accidents, large amounts of radionuclides were released in the environment, mostly caesium 137 (137Cs). Populations living in contaminated territories are chronically exposed to radionuclides by ingestion of contaminated food. However, questions still remain regarding the effects of low dose ionizing radiation exposure on the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases. We therefore investigated the effects of a chronic internal exposure to 137Cs on atherosclerosis in predisposed ApoE-/- mice. Mice were exposed daily to 0, 4, 20 or 100 kBq/l 137Cs in drinking water, corresponding to range of concentrations found in contaminated territories, for 6 or 9 months. We evaluated plaque size and phenotype, inflammatory profile, and oxidative stress status in different experimental groups. Results did not show any differences in atherosclerosis progression between mice exposed to 137Cs and unexposed controls. However, 137Cs exposed mice developed more stable plaques with decreased macrophage content, associated with reduced aortic expression of pro-inflammatory factors (CRP, TNFα, MCP-1, IFNγ) and adhesion molecules (ICAM-1, VCAM-1 and E-selectin). Lesions of mice exposed to 137Cs were also characterized by enhanced collagen and smooth muscle cell content, concurrent with reduced matrix metalloproteinase MMP8 and MMP13 expression. These results suggest that low dose chronic exposure of 137Cs in ApoE-/- mice enhances atherosclerotic lesion stability by inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokine and MMP production, resulting in collagen-rich plaques with greater smooth muscle cell and less macrophage content. PMID:26046630

  19. Chronic Internal Exposure to Low Dose 137Cs Induces Positive Impact on the Stability of Atherosclerotic Plaques by Reducing Inflammation in ApoE-/- Mice

    PubMed Central

    Le Gallic, Clélia; Phalente, Yohann; Manens, Line; Dublineau, Isabelle; Benderitter, Marc; Gueguen, Yann; Lehoux, Stephanie; Ebrahimian, Teni G.

    2015-01-01

    After Chernobyl and Fukushima Daï Chi, two major nuclear accidents, large amounts of radionuclides were released in the environment, mostly caesium 137 (137Cs). Populations living in contaminated territories are chronically exposed to radionuclides by ingestion of contaminated food. However, questions still remain regarding the effects of low dose ionizing radiation exposure on the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases. We therefore investigated the effects of a chronic internal exposure to 137Cs on atherosclerosis in predisposed ApoE-/- mice. Mice were exposed daily to 0, 4, 20 or 100 kBq/l 137Cs in drinking water, corresponding to range of concentrations found in contaminated territories, for 6 or 9 months. We evaluated plaque size and phenotype, inflammatory profile, and oxidative stress status in different experimental groups. Results did not show any differences in atherosclerosis progression between mice exposed to 137Cs and unexposed controls. However, 137Cs exposed mice developed more stable plaques with decreased macrophage content, associated with reduced aortic expression of pro-inflammatory factors (CRP, TNFα, MCP-1, IFNγ) and adhesion molecules (ICAM-1, VCAM-1 and E-selectin). Lesions of mice exposed to 137Cs were also characterized by enhanced collagen and smooth muscle cell content, concurrent with reduced matrix metalloproteinase MMP8 and MMP13 expression. These results suggest that low dose chronic exposure of 137Cs in ApoE-/- mice enhances atherosclerotic lesion stability by inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokine and MMP production, resulting in collagen-rich plaques with greater smooth muscle cell and less macrophage content. PMID:26046630

  20. Selective ablation of rabbit atherosclerotic plaque with less thermal effect by the control of pulse structure of a quantum cascade laser in the 5.7 μm wavelength range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hashimura, Keisuke; Ishii, Katsunori; Awazu, Kunio

    2016-03-01

    Cholesteryl esters are main components of atherosclerotic plaques and have an absorption peak at the wavelength of 5.75 μm originated from C=O stretching vibration mode of ester bond. Our group achieved the selective ablation of atherosclerotic lesions using a quantum cascade laser (QCL) in the 5.7 μm wavelength range. QCLs are relatively new types of semiconductor lasers that can emit mid-infrared range. They are sufficiently compact and considered to be useful for clinical application. However, large thermal effects were observed because the QCL worked as quasicontinuous wave (CW) lasers due to its short pulse interval. Then we tried macro pulse irradiation (irradiation of pulses at intervals) of the QCL and achieved effective ablation with less-thermal effects than conventional quasi-CW irradiation. However, lesion selectivity might be changed by changing pulse structure. Therefore, in this study, irradiation effects of the macro pulse irradiation to rabbit atherosclerotic plaque and normal vessel were compared. The macro pulse width and the macro pulse interval were set to 0.5 and 12 ms, respectively, because the thermal relaxation time of rabbit normal and atherosclerotic aortas in the oscillation wavelength of the QCL was 0.5-12 ms. As a result, cutting difference was achieved between rabbit atherosclerotic and normal aortas by the macro pulse irradiation. Therefore, macro pulse irradiation of a QCL in the 5.7 μm wavelength range is effective for reducing thermal effects and selective ablation of the atherosclerotic plaque. QCLs have the potential of realizing less-invasive laser angioplasty.

  1. Incremental value of live/real time three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography over the two-dimensional technique in the assessment of aortic atherosclerotic thrombi and ulcers.

    PubMed

    Elsayed, Mahmoud; Bulur, Serkan; Kalla, Aditi; Ahmed, Mustafa I; Hsiung, Ming C; Uygur, Begum; Alagic, Nermina; Sungur, Aylin; Singh, Satinder; Nanda, Navin C

    2016-08-01

    We present two cases in whom live/real time three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography (3DTEE) provided incremental value in the assessment of atherosclerotic disease in the aorta. In one patient, it identified additional atherosclerotic ulcers as well as thrombi within them which were missed by two-dimensional (2D) TEE. In both cases, the size of the large mobile atherosclerotic plaque was underestimated by 2DTEE as compared with 3DTEE. Furthermore, 3DTEE provided volume quantification of the thrombi and ulcers which is not possible by 2DTEE. The echocardiographic findings of atherosclerotic plaques were confirmed by computed tomography in one patient and by surgery in the other.

  2. Disturbed flow mediated modulation of shear forces on endothelial plane: A proposed model for studying endothelium around atherosclerotic plaques.

    PubMed

    Balaguru, Uma Maheswari; Sundaresan, Lakshmikirupa; Manivannan, Jeganathan; Majunathan, Reji; Mani, Krishnapriya; Swaminathan, Akila; Venkatesan, Saravanakumar; Kasiviswanathan, Dharanibalan; Chatterjee, Suvro

    2016-01-01

    Disturbed fluid flow or modulated shear stress is associated with vascular conditions such as atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and aneurysm. In vitro simulation of the fluid flow around the plaque micro-environment remains a challenging approach. Currently available models have limitations such as complications in protocols, high cost, incompetence of co-culture and not being suitable for massive expression studies. Hence, the present study aimed to develop a simple, versatile model based on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation. Current observations of CFD have shown the regions of modulated shear stress by the disturbed fluid flow. To execute and validate the model in real sense, cell morphology, cytoskeletal arrangement, cell death, reactive oxygen species (ROS) profile, nitric oxide production and disturbed flow markers under the above condition were assessed. Endothelium at disturbed flow region which had been exposed to low shear stress and swirling flow pattern showed morphological and expression similarities with the pathological disturbed flow environment reported previously. Altogether, the proposed model can serve as a platform to simulate the real time micro-environment of disturbed flow associated with eccentric plaque shapes and the possibilities of studying its downstream events. PMID:27255968

  3. Disturbed flow mediated modulation of shear forces on endothelial plane: A proposed model for studying endothelium around atherosclerotic plaques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balaguru, Uma Maheswari; Sundaresan, Lakshmikirupa; Manivannan, Jeganathan; Majunathan, Reji; Mani, Krishnapriya; Swaminathan, Akila; Venkatesan, Saravanakumar; Kasiviswanathan, Dharanibalan; Chatterjee, Suvro

    2016-06-01

    Disturbed fluid flow or modulated shear stress is associated with vascular conditions such as atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and aneurysm. In vitro simulation of the fluid flow around the plaque micro-environment remains a challenging approach. Currently available models have limitations such as complications in protocols, high cost, incompetence of co-culture and not being suitable for massive expression studies. Hence, the present study aimed to develop a simple, versatile model based on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation. Current observations of CFD have shown the regions of modulated shear stress by the disturbed fluid flow. To execute and validate the model in real sense, cell morphology, cytoskeletal arrangement, cell death, reactive oxygen species (ROS) profile, nitric oxide production and disturbed flow markers under the above condition were assessed. Endothelium at disturbed flow region which had been exposed to low shear stress and swirling flow pattern showed morphological and expression similarities with the pathological disturbed flow environment reported previously. Altogether, the proposed model can serve as a platform to simulate the real time micro-environment of disturbed flow associated with eccentric plaque shapes and the possibilities of studying its downstream events.

  4. Disturbed flow mediated modulation of shear forces on endothelial plane: A proposed model for studying endothelium around atherosclerotic plaques

    PubMed Central

    Balaguru, Uma Maheswari; Sundaresan, Lakshmikirupa; Manivannan, Jeganathan; Majunathan, Reji; Mani, Krishnapriya; Swaminathan, Akila; Venkatesan, Saravanakumar; Kasiviswanathan, Dharanibalan; Chatterjee, Suvro

    2016-01-01

    Disturbed fluid flow or modulated shear stress is associated with vascular conditions such as atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and aneurysm. In vitro simulation of the fluid flow around the plaque micro-environment remains a challenging approach. Currently available models have limitations such as complications in protocols, high cost, incompetence of co-culture and not being suitable for massive expression studies. Hence, the present study aimed to develop a simple, versatile model based on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation. Current observations of CFD have shown the regions of modulated shear stress by the disturbed fluid flow. To execute and validate the model in real sense, cell morphology, cytoskeletal arrangement, cell death, reactive oxygen species (ROS) profile, nitric oxide production and disturbed flow markers under the above condition were assessed. Endothelium at disturbed flow region which had been exposed to low shear stress and swirling flow pattern showed morphological and expression similarities with the pathological disturbed flow environment reported previously. Altogether, the proposed model can serve as a platform to simulate the real time micro-environment of disturbed flow associated with eccentric plaque shapes and the possibilities of studying its downstream events. PMID:27255968

  5. Direct evidence of a role for Nox2 in superoxide production, reduced nitric oxide bioavailability, and early atherosclerotic plaque formation in ApoE-/- mice.

    PubMed

    Judkins, Courtney P; Diep, Henry; Broughton, Brad R S; Mast, Anja E; Hooker, Elizabeth U; Miller, Alyson A; Selemidis, Stavros; Dusting, Gregory J; Sobey, Christopher G; Drummond, Grant R

    2010-01-01

    The Nox family NADPH oxidases are reactive oxygen species (ROS)-generating enzymes that are strongly implicated in atherogenesis. However, no studies have examined which Nox isoform(s) are involved. Here we investigated the role of the Nox2-containing NADPH oxidase in atherogenesis in apolipoprotein E-null (ApoE(-/-)) mice. Wild-type (C57Bl6/J), ApoE(-/-), and Nox2(-/y)/ApoE(-/-) mice were maintained on a high-fat (21%) diet from 5 wk of age until they were 12 or 19 wk old. Mice were euthanized and their aortas removed for measurement of Nox2 expression (Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry), ROS production (L012-enhanced chemiluminescence), nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability (contractions to N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine), and atherosclerotic plaque development along the aorta and in the aortic sinus. Nox2 expression was upregulated in the aortic endothelium of ApoE(-/-) mice before the appearance of lesions, and this was associated with elevated ROS levels. Within developing plaques, macrophages were also a prominent source of Nox2. The absence of Nox2 in Nox2(-/y)/ApoE(-/-) double-knockout mice had minimal effects on plasma lipids or lesion development in the aortic sinus in animals up to 19 wk of age. However, an en face examination of the aorta from the arch to the iliac bifurcation revealed a 50% reduction in lesion area in Nox2(-/y)/ApoE(-/-) versus ApoE(-/-) mice, and this was associated with a marked decrease in aortic ROS production and an increased NO bioavailability. In conclusion, this is the first demonstration of a role for Nox2-NADPH oxidase in vascular ROS production, reduced NO bioavailability, and early lesion development in ApoE(-/-) mice, highlighting this Nox isoform as a potential target for future therapies for atherosclerosis. PMID:19837950

  6. Effect of AVE 0991 angiotensin-(1-7) receptor agonist treatment on elemental and biomolecular content and distribution in atherosclerotic plaques of apoE-knockout mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kowalska, J.; Gajda, M.; Jawień, J.; Kwiatek, W. M.; Appel, K.; Dumas, P.

    2013-12-01

    Gene-targeted apolipoprotein E-knockout (apoE-KO) mice display early and highly progressive vascular lesions containing lipid deposits and they became a reliable animal model to study atherosclerosis. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of AVE 0991 angiotensin-(1-7) receptor agonist on the distribution of selected pro- and anti- inflammatory elements as well as biomolecules in atherosclerotic plaques of apoE-knockout mice. Synchrotron radiation-based X-ray fluorescence (micro-XRF) and Fourier Transform Infrared (micro-FTIR) microspectroscopies were applied. Two-month-old apoE-KO mice were fed for following four months diet supplemented with AVE 0991 (0.58 μmol/kg b.w. per day). Histological sections of ascending aortas were analyzed spectroscopically. The distribution of P, Ca, Fe and Zn were found to correspond with histological structure of the lesion. Significantly lower contents of P, Ca, Zn and significantly higher content of Fe were observed in animals treated with AVE 0991. Biomolecular analysis showed lower lipids saturation level and lower lipid to protein ratio in AVE 0991 treated group. Protein secondary structure was studied according to the composition of amide I band (1660 cm-1) and it demonstrated higher proportion of β-sheet structure as compared to α-helix in both studied groups.

  7. Influence of material property variability on the mechanical behaviour of carotid atherosclerotic plaques: a 3D fluid-structure interaction analysis.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Jianmin; Teng, Zhongzhao; Feng, Jiaxuan; Zhang, Yongxue; Brown, Adam J; Gillard, Jonathan H; Jing, Zaiping; Lu, Qingsheng

    2015-08-01

    Mechanical analysis has been shown to be complementary to luminal stenosis in assessing atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability. However, patient-specific material properties are not available and the effect of material properties variability has not been fully quantified. Media and fibrous cap (FC) strips from carotid endarterectomy samples were classified into hard, intermediate and soft according to their incremental Young's modulus. Lipid and intraplaque haemorrhage/thrombus strips were classified as hard and soft. Idealised geometry-based 3D fluid-structure interaction analyses were performed to assess the impact of material property variability in predicting maximum principal stress (Stress-P1 ) and stretch (Stretch-P1 ). When FC was thick (1000 or 600 µm), Stress-P1 at the shoulder was insensitive to changes in material stiffness, whereas Stress-P1 at mid FC changed significantly. When FC was thin (200 or 65 µm), high stress concentrations shifted from the shoulder region to mid FC, and Stress-P1 became increasingly sensitive to changes in material properties, in particular at mid FC. Regardless of FC thickness, Stretch-P1 at these locations was sensitive to changes in material properties. Variability in tissue material properties influences both the location and overall stress/stretch value. This variability needs to be accounted for when interpreting the results of mechanical modelling. PMID:25940741

  8. Influence of material property variability on the mechanical behaviour of carotid atherosclerotic plaques: a 3D fluid-structure interaction analysis.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Jianmin; Teng, Zhongzhao; Feng, Jiaxuan; Zhang, Yongxue; Brown, Adam J; Gillard, Jonathan H; Jing, Zaiping; Lu, Qingsheng

    2015-08-01

    Mechanical analysis has been shown to be complementary to luminal stenosis in assessing atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability. However, patient-specific material properties are not available and the effect of material properties variability has not been fully quantified. Media and fibrous cap (FC) strips from carotid endarterectomy samples were classified into hard, intermediate and soft according to their incremental Young's modulus. Lipid and intraplaque haemorrhage/thrombus strips were classified as hard and soft. Idealised geometry-based 3D fluid-structure interaction analyses were performed to assess the impact of material property variability in predicting maximum principal stress (Stress-P1 ) and stretch (Stretch-P1 ). When FC was thick (1000 or 600 µm), Stress-P1 at the shoulder was insensitive to changes in material stiffness, whereas Stress-P1 at mid FC changed significantly. When FC was thin (200 or 65 µm), high stress concentrations shifted from the shoulder region to mid FC, and Stress-P1 became increasingly sensitive to changes in material properties, in particular at mid FC. Regardless of FC thickness, Stretch-P1 at these locations was sensitive to changes in material properties. Variability in tissue material properties influences both the location and overall stress/stretch value. This variability needs to be accounted for when interpreting the results of mechanical modelling.

  9. A direct vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque elasticity reconstruction method based on an original material-finite element formulation: theoretical framework

    PubMed Central

    Bouvier, Adeline; Deleaval, Flavien; Doyley, Marvin M; Yazdani, Saami K; Finet, Gérard; Le Floc'h, Simon; Cloutier, Guy; Pettigrew, Roderic I; Ohayon, Jacques

    2016-01-01

    The peak cap stress (PCS) amplitude is recognized as a biomechanical predictor of vulnerable plaque (VP) rupture. However, quantifying PCS in vivo remains a challenge since the stress depends on the plaque mechanical properties. In response, an iterative material finite element (FE) elasticity reconstruction method using strain measurements has been implemented for the solution of these inverse problems. Although this approach could resolve the mechanical characterization of VPs, it suffers from major limitations since (i) it is not adapted to characterize VPs exhibiting high material discontinuities between inclusions, and (ii) does not permit real time elasticity reconstruction for clinical use. The present theoretical study was therefore designed to develop a direct material-FE algorithm for elasticity reconstruction problems which accounts for material heterogeneities. We originally modified and adapted the extended FE method (Xfem), used mainly in crack analysis, to model material heterogeneities. This new algorithm was successfully applied to six coronary lesions of patients imaged in vivo with intravascular ultrasound. The results demonstrated that the mean relative absolute errors of the reconstructed Young's moduli obtained for the arterial wall, fibrosis, necrotic core, and calcified regions of the VPs decreased from 95.3±15.56%, 98.85±72.42%, 103.29±111.86% and 95.3±10.49%, respectively, to values smaller than 2.6 × 10−8±5.7 × 10−8% (i.e. close to the exact solutions) when including modified-Xfem method into our direct elasticity reconstruction method. PMID:24240392

  10. Modulating the Gut Microbiota Improves Glucose Tolerance, Lipoprotein Profile and Atherosclerotic Plaque Development in ApoE-Deficient Mice

    PubMed Central

    Rune, Ida; Rolin, Bidda; Larsen, Christian; Nielsen, Dennis Sandris; Kanter, Jenny E.; Bornfeldt, Karin E.; Lykkesfeldt, Jens; Buschard, Karsten; Kirk, Rikke Kaae; Christoffersen, Berit; Fels, Johannes Josef; Josefsen, Knud; Kihl, Pernille; Hansen, Axel Kornerup

    2016-01-01

    The importance of the gut microbiota (GM) in disease development has recently received increased attention, and numerous approaches have been made to better understand this important interplay. For example, metabolites derived from the GM have been shown to promote atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and to increase CVD risk factors. Popular interest in the role of the intestine in a variety of disease states has now resulted in a significant proportion of individuals without coeliac disease switching to gluten-free diets. The effect of gluten-free diets on atherosclerosis and cardiovascular risk factors is largely unknown. We therefore investigated the effect of a gluten-free high-fat cholesterol-rich diet, as compared to the same diet in which the gluten peptide gliadin had been added back, on atherosclerosis and several cardiovascular risk factors in apolipoprotein E-deficient (Apoe-/-) mice. The gluten-free diet transiently altered GM composition in these mice, as compared to the gliadin-supplemented diet, but did not alter body weights, glucose tolerance, insulin levels, plasma lipids, or atherosclerosis. In parallel, other Apoe-/- mice fed the same diets were treated with ampicillin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic known to affect GM composition. Ampicillin-treatment had a marked and sustained effect on GM composition, as expected. Furthermore, although ampicillin-treated mice were slightly heavier than controls, ampicillin-treatment transiently improved glucose tolerance both in the absence or presence of gliadin, reduced plasma LDL and VLDL cholesterol levels, and reduced aortic atherosclerotic lesion area. These results demonstrate that a gluten-free diet does not seem to have beneficial effects on atherosclerosis or several CVD risk factors in this mouse model, but that sustained alteration of GM composition with a broad-spectrum antibiotic has beneficial effects on CVD risk factors and atherosclerosis. These findings

  11. Modulating the Gut Microbiota Improves Glucose Tolerance, Lipoprotein Profile and Atherosclerotic Plaque Development in ApoE-Deficient Mice.

    PubMed

    Rune, Ida; Rolin, Bidda; Larsen, Christian; Nielsen, Dennis Sandris; Kanter, Jenny E; Bornfeldt, Karin E; Lykkesfeldt, Jens; Buschard, Karsten; Kirk, Rikke Kaae; Christoffersen, Berit; Fels, Johannes Josef; Josefsen, Knud; Kihl, Pernille; Hansen, Axel Kornerup

    2016-01-01

    The importance of the gut microbiota (GM) in disease development has recently received increased attention, and numerous approaches have been made to better understand this important interplay. For example, metabolites derived from the GM have been shown to promote atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and to increase CVD risk factors. Popular interest in the role of the intestine in a variety of disease states has now resulted in a significant proportion of individuals without coeliac disease switching to gluten-free diets. The effect of gluten-free diets on atherosclerosis and cardiovascular risk factors is largely unknown. We therefore investigated the effect of a gluten-free high-fat cholesterol-rich diet, as compared to the same diet in which the gluten peptide gliadin had been added back, on atherosclerosis and several cardiovascular risk factors in apolipoprotein E-deficient (Apoe-/-) mice. The gluten-free diet transiently altered GM composition in these mice, as compared to the gliadin-supplemented diet, but did not alter body weights, glucose tolerance, insulin levels, plasma lipids, or atherosclerosis. In parallel, other Apoe-/- mice fed the same diets were treated with ampicillin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic known to affect GM composition. Ampicillin-treatment had a marked and sustained effect on GM composition, as expected. Furthermore, although ampicillin-treated mice were slightly heavier than controls, ampicillin-treatment transiently improved glucose tolerance both in the absence or presence of gliadin, reduced plasma LDL and VLDL cholesterol levels, and reduced aortic atherosclerotic lesion area. These results demonstrate that a gluten-free diet does not seem to have beneficial effects on atherosclerosis or several CVD risk factors in this mouse model, but that sustained alteration of GM composition with a broad-spectrum antibiotic has beneficial effects on CVD risk factors and atherosclerosis. These findings

  12. Yellow wine polyphenolic compounds inhibit matrix metalloproteinase-2, -9 expression and improve atherosclerotic plaque in LDL-receptor-knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Zhai, Xiaoya; Chi, Jufang; Tang, Weiliang; Ji, Zheng; Zhao, Fei; Jiang, Chengjian; Lv, Haitao; Guo, Hangyuan

    2014-01-01

    Many epidemiological studies have strongly suggested an inverse correlation between dietary polyphenol consumption and reduced risks of cardiovascular diseases. Yellow rice wine is a Chinese specialty and one of the three most ancient wines in the world (Shaoxing rice wine, beer, and grape wine). There is a large amount of polyphenol substances in yellow rice wine. This experiment was designed to study the potential beneficial effects of yellow wine polyphenolic compounds (YWPC) from yellow rice wine on progression of atherosclerosis in vivo and to further explore its underlying mechanisms. Six-week-old male LDL-receptor-knockout mice were treated with high-fat diet to establish the mouse model with atherosclerosis. Animals received 10, 30, or 50 mg/kg per day of YWPC or 10 mg/kg per day rosuvastatin or water (vehicle) for 14 weeks. The results indicated that YWPC and rosuvastatin significantly decreased circulating total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Compared to the control group, the atherosclerosis lesion area in the rosuvastatin-intervention group and YWPC at doses of 10, 30, and 50 mg/kg per day intervention groups decreased by 74.14%, 18.51%, 40.09%, and 38.42%, respectively. YWPC and rosuvastatin decreased the expression and activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-2, 9, whereas the expression of the endogenous inhibitors of these proteins, namely, tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (TIMP)-1, 2, increased when compared to the control group. It can be concluded that the YWPC is similar to the benefic effects of rosuvastatin on cardiovascular system. These effects may be attributed to their anti-atherosclerotic actions by lowering lipid and modulating the activity and expression of MMP-2, 9 and TIMP-1, 2.

  13. Two-Point Stretchable Electrode Array for Endoluminal Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy Measurements of Lipid-Laden Atherosclerotic Plaques.

    PubMed

    Packard, René R Sevag; Zhang, XiaoXiao; Luo, Yuan; Ma, Teng; Jen, Nelson; Ma, Jianguo; Demer, Linda L; Zhou, Qifa; Sayre, James W; Li, Rongsong; Tai, Yu-Chong; Hsiai, Tzung K

    2016-09-01

    Four-point electrode systems are commonly used for electric impedance measurements of biomaterials and tissues. We introduce a 2-point system to reduce electrode polarization for heterogeneous measurements of vascular wall. Presence of endoluminal oxidized low density lipoprotein (oxLDL) and lipids alters the electrochemical impedance that can be measured by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). We developed a catheter-based 2-point micro-electrode configuration for intravascular deployment in New Zealand White rabbits. An array of 2 flexible round electrodes, 240 µm in diameter and separated by 400 µm was microfabricated and mounted on an inflatable balloon catheter for EIS measurement of the oxLDL-rich lesions developed as a result of high-fat diet-induced hyperlipidemia. Upon balloon inflation, the 2-point electrode array conformed to the arterial wall to allow deep intraplaque penetration via alternating current (AC). The frequency sweep from 10 to 300 kHz generated an increase in capacitance, providing distinct changes in both impedance (Ω) and phase (ϕ) in relation to varying degrees of intraplaque lipid burden in the aorta. Aortic endoluminal EIS measurements were compared with epicardial fat tissue and validated by intravascular ultrasound and immunohistochemistry for plaque lipids and foam cells. Thus, we demonstrate a new approach to quantify endoluminal EIS via a 2-point stretchable electrode strategy.

  14. Two-Point Stretchable Electrode Array for Endoluminal Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy Measurements of Lipid-Laden Atherosclerotic Plaques.

    PubMed

    Packard, René R Sevag; Zhang, XiaoXiao; Luo, Yuan; Ma, Teng; Jen, Nelson; Ma, Jianguo; Demer, Linda L; Zhou, Qifa; Sayre, James W; Li, Rongsong; Tai, Yu-Chong; Hsiai, Tzung K

    2016-09-01

    Four-point electrode systems are commonly used for electric impedance measurements of biomaterials and tissues. We introduce a 2-point system to reduce electrode polarization for heterogeneous measurements of vascular wall. Presence of endoluminal oxidized low density lipoprotein (oxLDL) and lipids alters the electrochemical impedance that can be measured by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). We developed a catheter-based 2-point micro-electrode configuration for intravascular deployment in New Zealand White rabbits. An array of 2 flexible round electrodes, 240 µm in diameter and separated by 400 µm was microfabricated and mounted on an inflatable balloon catheter for EIS measurement of the oxLDL-rich lesions developed as a result of high-fat diet-induced hyperlipidemia. Upon balloon inflation, the 2-point electrode array conformed to the arterial wall to allow deep intraplaque penetration via alternating current (AC). The frequency sweep from 10 to 300 kHz generated an increase in capacitance, providing distinct changes in both impedance (Ω) and phase (ϕ) in relation to varying degrees of intraplaque lipid burden in the aorta. Aortic endoluminal EIS measurements were compared with epicardial fat tissue and validated by intravascular ultrasound and immunohistochemistry for plaque lipids and foam cells. Thus, we demonstrate a new approach to quantify endoluminal EIS via a 2-point stretchable electrode strategy. PMID:26857007

  15. Coronary-Heart-Disease-Associated Genetic Variant at the COL4A1/COL4A2 Locus Affects COL4A1/COL4A2 Expression, Vascular Cell Survival, Atherosclerotic Plaque Stability and Risk of Myocardial Infarction

    PubMed Central

    Pu, Xiangyuan; Ren, Meixia; An, Weiwei; Zhang, Ruoxin; Yan, Shunying; Situ, Haiteng; He, Xinjie; Chen, Yequn; Tan, Xuerui; Xiao, Qingzhong; Tucker, Arthur T.; Caulfield, Mark J.; Ye, Shu

    2016-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies have revealed an association between coronary heart disease (CHD) and genetic variation on chromosome 13q34, with the lead single nucleotide polymorphism rs4773144 residing in the COL4A2 gene in this genomic region. We investigated the functional effects of this genetic variant. Analyses of primary cultures of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and endothelial cells (ECs) from different individuals showed a difference between rs4773144 genotypes in COL4A2 and COL4A1 expression levels, being lowest in the G/G genotype, intermediate in A/G and highest in A/A. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by allelic imbalance assays of primary cultures of SMCs and ECs that were of the A/G genotype revealed that the G allele had lower transcriptional activity than the A allele. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and luciferase reporter gene assays showed that a short DNA sequence encompassing the rs4773144 site interacted with a nuclear protein, with lower efficiency for the G allele, and that the G allele sequence had lower activity in driving reporter gene expression. Analyses of cultured SMCs from different individuals demonstrated that cells of the G/G genotype had higher apoptosis rates. Immunohistochemical and histological examinations of ex vivo atherosclerotic coronary arteries from different individuals disclosed that atherosclerotic plaques with the G/G genotype had lower collagen IV abundance and thinner fibrous cap, a hallmark of unstable, rupture-prone plaques. A study of a cohort of patients with angiographically documented coronary artery disease showed that patients of the G/G genotype had higher rates of myocardial infarction, a phenotype often caused by plaque rupture. These results indicate that the CHD-related genetic variant at the COL4A2 locus affects COL4A2/COL4A1 expression, SMC survival, and atherosclerotic plaque stability, providing a mechanistic explanation for the association between the genetic variant and CHD

  16. Coronary-Heart-Disease-Associated Genetic Variant at the COL4A1/COL4A2 Locus Affects COL4A1/COL4A2 Expression, Vascular Cell Survival, Atherosclerotic Plaque Stability and Risk of Myocardial Infarction.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wei; Ng, Fu Liang; Chan, Kenneth; Pu, Xiangyuan; Poston, Robin N; Ren, Meixia; An, Weiwei; Zhang, Ruoxin; Wu, Jingchun; Yan, Shunying; Situ, Haiteng; He, Xinjie; Chen, Yequn; Tan, Xuerui; Xiao, Qingzhong; Tucker, Arthur T; Caulfield, Mark J; Ye, Shu

    2016-07-01

    Genome-wide association studies have revealed an association between coronary heart disease (CHD) and genetic variation on chromosome 13q34, with the lead single nucleotide polymorphism rs4773144 residing in the COL4A2 gene in this genomic region. We investigated the functional effects of this genetic variant. Analyses of primary cultures of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and endothelial cells (ECs) from different individuals showed a difference between rs4773144 genotypes in COL4A2 and COL4A1 expression levels, being lowest in the G/G genotype, intermediate in A/G and highest in A/A. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by allelic imbalance assays of primary cultures of SMCs and ECs that were of the A/G genotype revealed that the G allele had lower transcriptional activity than the A allele. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and luciferase reporter gene assays showed that a short DNA sequence encompassing the rs4773144 site interacted with a nuclear protein, with lower efficiency for the G allele, and that the G allele sequence had lower activity in driving reporter gene expression. Analyses of cultured SMCs from different individuals demonstrated that cells of the G/G genotype had higher apoptosis rates. Immunohistochemical and histological examinations of ex vivo atherosclerotic coronary arteries from different individuals disclosed that atherosclerotic plaques with the G/G genotype had lower collagen IV abundance and thinner fibrous cap, a hallmark of unstable, rupture-prone plaques. A study of a cohort of patients with angiographically documented coronary artery disease showed that patients of the G/G genotype had higher rates of myocardial infarction, a phenotype often caused by plaque rupture. These results indicate that the CHD-related genetic variant at the COL4A2 locus affects COL4A2/COL4A1 expression, SMC survival, and atherosclerotic plaque stability, providing a mechanistic explanation for the association between the genetic variant and CHD

  17. Enhanced External Counterpulsation Treatment May Intervene The Advanced Atherosclerotic Plaque Progression by Inducing The Variations of Mechanical Factors: A 3D FSI Study Based on in vivo Animal Experiment.

    PubMed

    Du, Jianhang; Wang, Liang

    2015-12-01

    Growing evidences suggest that long-term enhanced external counter-pulsation (EECP) treatment can inhibit the initiation of atherosclerotic lesion by improving the hemodynamic environment in aortas. However, whether this kind procedure will intervene the progression of advanced atherosclerotic plaque remains elusive and causes great concern in its clinical application presently. In the current paper, a pilot study combining animal experiment and numerical simulation was conducted to investigate the acute mechanical stress variations during EECP intervention, and then to assess the possible chronic effects. An experimentally induced hypercholesterolemic porcine model was developed and the basic hemodynamic measurement was performed in vivo before and during EECP treatment. Meanwhile, A 3D fluid-structure interaction (FSI) model of blood vessel with symmetric local stenosis was developed for the numerical calculation of some important mechanical factors. The results show that EECP augmented 12.21% of the plaque wall stress (PWS), 57.72% of the time average wall shear stress (AWSS) and 43.67% of the non-dimensional wall shear stress gradient (WSSGnd) at throat site of the stenosis. We suggest that long-term EECP treatment may intervene the advanced plaque progression by inducing the significant variations of some important mechanical factors, but its proper effects will need a further research combined follow-up observation in clinic. PMID:27263260

  18. Imaging monocytes with iron oxide nanoparticles targeted towards the monocyte integrin MAC-1 (CD11b/CD18) does not result in improved atherosclerotic plaque detection by in vivo MRI.

    PubMed

    von zur Muhlen, C; Fink-Petri, A; Salaklang, J; Paul, D; Neudorfer, I; Berti, V; Merkle, A; Peter, K; Bode, C; von Elverfeldt, D

    2010-01-01

    Imaging of macrophages with superparamagnetic iron oxide particles (SPIO) has been performed to improve detection of atherosclerotic plaque inflammation in human and mouse studies by molecular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Since affinity of the monocyte/macrophage integrin MAC-1 (CD11b/CD18) is upregulated in inflammation, we generated a contrast agent targeting CD11b (CD11b-SPIOs) for improved macrophage detection in plaques. CD11b-SPIOs and non-targeted SPIOs (control-SPIOs) were incubated in vitro with human monocytes/macrophages. As quantified by SPIO-induced MRI signal extinction, intracellular iron-content was significantly higher in monoytes/macrophages incubated with CD11b-SPIO than with control-SPIO in vitro (p < 0.05), suggesting an improved uptake of CD11b-SPIOs into monocytes. Therefore, the aortic arch (AA) and vessel branches of ApoE(-/-)-knockout mice on a Western-type diet were imaged before and 48 h after contrast agent injection of either CD11b-SPIOs or control-SPIOs, using a 9.4 T animal MRI system. The SPIO-induced change in the MRI signal was quantified, as well as the macrophage-content by anti-CD68 immunhistochemistry and the iron-content by Prussian-blue staining. However, SPIO-induced signal extinction in in vivo-MRI was similar in CD11b-SPIO and control-SPIO-injected animals, with a non-significant trend towards an improved uptake of CD11b-SPIOs in the subclavian artery and subsections of the AA. These data correlated well with the results obtained by histology. Although in vitro MRI-data indicated an increased uptake of targeted CD11b-SPIOs in monocytes/macrophages, in vivo mouse data do not allow improved atherosclerotic plaque detection compared WITH non-targeted SPIOs. Therefore, CD11b-targeted MRI contrast labelling of monocytes/macrophages does not seem to be a successful strategy in stable atherosclerotic plaques such as found in the ApoE(-/-)-knockout-model. However, the impressive correlation between MRI and histology data

  19. Thermal detection of vulnerable plaque.

    PubMed

    Madjid, Mohammad; Naghavi, Morteza; Malik, Basit A; Litovsky, Silvio; Willerson, James T; Casscells, Ward

    2002-11-21

    In 1996, we showed that inflamed atherosclerotic plaques give off more heat and that vulnerable plaques may be detected by measuring their temperature. Plaque temperature is correlated directly with inflammatory cell density and inversely with the distance of the cell clusters from the luminal surface. It is inversely related to the density of the smooth muscle cells. We found no significant association between temperature heterogeneity and presence of Chlamydia pneumoniae in plaque or the gross color of human atherosclerotic carotid plaques. We also found pH heterogeneity in plaques from human carotid artery and aortas of Watanabe atherosclerotic rabbits and apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Areas with lower pH had higher temperature, and areas with a large lipid core showed lower pH with higher temperature, whereas calcified regions had lower temperature and higher pH. We also developed a thermography basket catheter and showed in vivo temperature heterogeneity in atherosclerotic lesions of atherosclerotic dogs and Watanabe rabbits. Thermal heterogeneity was later documented in human atherosclerotic coronary arteries. Temperature difference between atherosclerotic plaque and healthy vessel wall is related to clinical instability. It is correlated with systemic markers of inflammation and is a strong predictor of adverse cardiac events after percutaneous interventions. Thermography is the first in a series of novel "functional" imaging methods and is moving to clinical trials. It may be useful for a variety of clinical and research purposes, such as detection of vulnerable plaques and risk stratification of vulnerable patients.

  20. Atherosclerotic and Non-Atherosclerotic Coronary Heart Disease in Women.

    PubMed

    Kolovou, Genovefa; Kolovou, Vana; Koutelou, Maria; Mavrogeni, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    Atherosclerotic Coronary heart disease (CHD) and non-atherosclerotic CHD in individuals less than 50 years of age is considered a "men's case". Undoubtedly, premenopausal women develop atherosclerotic/non-atherosclerotic CHD relatively rarely compared with men. This is attributed mostly to the cardioprotective role of estrogens (mainly estradiol). Nevertheless, there are predisposing conditions, which also make young women vulnerable to develop atherosclerotic/non-atherosclerotic CHD. Women who have classical cardiovascular (CV) risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, smoking, obesity, and dyslipidaemia, are more likely to develop cardiac events, even at a young age. Moreover, there are also other conditions that cause acute coronary syndromes, even in the absence of coronary atheromatic plaques such as myocardial bridge, coronary artery dissection, coronary artery spasm, coronary artery embolism and congenital anomalies of coronary arteries. Also, autoimmune diseases, some of which are more prevalent in women can cause atherosclerotic/ non-atherosclerotic CHD. In this narrative review we have summarized some of the causes that predispose young women to develop atherosclerotic/non-atherosclerotic CHD. PMID:26337108

  1. Reproducibility of coronary atherosclerotic plaque characteristics in populations with low, intermediate, and high prevalence of coronary artery disease by multidetector computer tomography: a guide to reliable visual coronary plaque assessments.

    PubMed

    de Knegt, Martina C; Linde, Jesper J; Fuchs, Andreas; Nordestgaard, Børge G; Køber, Lars V; Hove, Jens D; Kofoed, Klaus F

    2016-10-01

    To evaluate the interobserver agreement of visual coronary plaque characteristics by 320-slice multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) in three populations with low, intermediate and high CAD prevalence and to identify determinants for the reproducible assessment of these plaque characteristics. 150 patients, 50 asymptomatic subjects from the general population (low CAD prevalence), 50 symptomatic non-acute coronary syndrome (non-ACS) patients (intermediate CAD prevalence), and 50 ACS patients (high CAD prevalence), matched according to age and gender, were retrospectively enrolled. All coronary segments were evaluated for overall image quality, evaluability, presence of CAD, coronary stenosis, plaque composition, plaque focality, and spotty calcification by four readers. Interobserver agreement was assessed using Fleiss' Kappa (κ) and intra-class correlation (ICC). Widely used clinical parameters (overall scan quality, presence of CAD, and determination of coronary stenosis) showed good agreement among the four readers, (ICC = 0.66, κ = 0.73, ICC = 0.74, respectively). When accounting for heart rate, body mass index, plaque location, and coronary stenosis above/below 50 %, interobserver agreement for plaque composition, presence of CAD, and coronary stenosis improved to either good or excellent, (κ = 0.61, κ = 0.81, ICC = 0.78, respectively). Spotty calcification was the least reproducible parameter investigated (κ = 0.33). Across subpopulations, reproducibility of coronary plaque characteristics generally decreased with increasing CAD prevalence except for plaque composition, (limits of agreement: ±2.03, ±1.96, ±1.79 for low, intermediate and high CAD prevalence, respectively). 320-slice MDCT can be used to assess coronary plaque characteristics, except for spotty calcification. Reproducibility estimates are influenced by heart rate, body size, plaque location, and degree of luminal stenosis.

  2. 150-kD oxygen-regulated protein is expressed in human atherosclerotic plaques and allows mononuclear phagocytes to withstand cellular stress on exposure to hypoxia and modified low density lipoprotein.

    PubMed Central

    Tsukamoto, Y; Kuwabara, K; Hirota, S; Ikeda, J; Stern, D; Yanagi, H; Matsumoto, M; Ogawa, S; Kitamura, Y

    1996-01-01

    The 150-kD oxygen-regulated protein (ORP150) was initially characterized based on its selective expression in astrocytes subjected to oxygen deprivation (Kuwabara, K., M. Matsumoto, J. Ikeda, O. Hori, S. Ogawa, Y. Maeda, K. Kitagawa, N. Imuta, K. Kinoshita, D.M. Stern, et al. 1996. J. Biol. Chem. 279:5025-5032). We have found that exposure of cultured human aortic smooth muscle cells and mononuclear phagocytes (MPs) to hypoxia (pO2 approximately 12-14 torr) induces ORP150 transcripts and production of the antigen, whereas incubation with either hydrogen peroxide, sodium arsenite, heat shock, or 2-deoxyglucose was without effect. Tissue extracts prepared from human atherosclerotic lesions demonstrated expression of ORP150 mRNA and antigen, vs lack of ORP150 in samples from nonatherosclerotic areas. In situ hybridization using ORP150 riboprobes showed the mRNA to be predominantly [correction of predominately] present in macrophages in in atherosclerotic plaques. Furthermore, autoantibody to ORP150 was demonstrated in the serum of patients with severe atherosclerosis, consistent with inducible in vivo expression of ORP150. Introduction of antisense oligonucleotide for ORP150 selectively diminished hypoxia-mediated induction of ORP150 antigen and reduced the viability of hypoxic MPs, especially in the presence of modified (oxidized/acetylated) LDL. In support of a role for ORP150 in the MPs' response to the microenvironment of an atheroma, the presence of oxidized LDL enhanced by approximately 10-fold ORP150 expression in hypoxic cultures. These data indicate that cells of the atherosclerotic vessel wall express ORP150 as part of a protective mechanism, potentially triggered by local hypoxia/hypoxemia and augmented by modified lipoproteins. The presence of antibody to ORP150 in sera of patients with severe atherosclerosis emphasizes the possibility that ORP150 may be a marker of vascular pathology. PMID:8878445

  3. A Four-Criterion Selection Procedure for Atherosclerotic Plaque Elasticity Reconstruction based on in Vivo Coronary Intravascular Ultrasound Radial Strain Sequences

    PubMed Central

    Le Floc’h, Simon; Cloutier, Guy; Saijo, Yoshifumi; Finet, Gérard; Yazdani, Saami K.; Deleaval, Flavien; Rioufol, Gilles; Pettigrew, Roderic I.; Ohayon, Jacques

    2016-01-01

    Plaque elasticity (i.e. modulogram) and morphology are good predictors of plaque vulnerability. Recently, our group developed an intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) elasticity reconstruction method which was successfully implemented in vitro using vessel phantoms. In vivo IVUS modulography, however, remains a major challenge as the motion of the heart prevents accurate strain field estimation. We therefore designed a technique to extract accurate strain fields and modulograms from recorded IVUS sequences. We identified a set of four criteria based on tissue overlapping, RF-correlation coefficient between two successive frames, performance of the elasticity reconstruction method to recover the measured radial strain, and reproducibility of the computed modulograms over the cardiac cycle. This 4-CSP was successfully tested on IVUS sequences obtained in twelve patients referred for a directional coronary atherectomy intervention. This study demonstrates the potential of the IVUS modulography technique based on the proposed 4-CSP to detect vulnerable plaques in vivo. PMID:23196202

  4. [Atheroma plaque stabilization: a new concept based on the dynamic biology of atherosclerosis].

    PubMed

    Páramo, José A; Orbe, Josune; Rodríguez, José A

    2003-11-01

    As it is well-known, a thrombus evolving into a disrupted/eroded atherosclerotic plaque causes most acute coronary syndromes. Plaque stabilization via reduction of the lipid core and/or thickening of the fibrous cap is one of the possible mechanisms accounted for the clinical benefits displayed by different anti-atherosclerotic strategies. The concept of plaque stabilization was developed to explain how lipid-lowering agents could decrease adverse coronary events without substantial modifications of the atherosclerotic lesion. A number of imaging modalities (vascular ultrasound, MRI, and coronary computed tomography) are used for non-invasive assessment of atherosclerosis; most of them can identify luminal stenosis, wall thickness and plaque volume and composition, and can even characterize the rupture-prone vulnerable plaques. Several classes of drugs, including statins, ACE inhibitors, -blockers, and antithrombotics, are able to reduce the plaque burden and the incidence of cardiovascular events; this may be attibutable, at least in part, to plaque-stabilizing effects and the improvement of endothelial dysfunction.

  5. Attenuation of apoptosis by telmisartan in atherosclerotic plaques of apolipoprotein E-/- mice: evaluation using technetium 99m-annexin A5.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yan; Zhao, Songji; Kuge, Yuji; Strauss, H William; Blankenberg, Francis G; Tamaki, Nagara

    2013-01-01

    Technetium 99m (99mTc)-annexin A5, a marker of ongoing apoptosis, is supposed to be useful in the detection of metabolically active atheroma. The aim of this study was to determine the potential of 99mTc-annexin A5 for evaluating the therapeutic effects of an angiotensin II receptor type 1 blocker (ARB) (telmisartan) on atherosclerosis. Male apolipoprotein E-/- mice were divided into telmisartan-treated (3 mg/kg/d, n  =  10) and control (n  =  10) groups. After 16 to 21 weeks of treatment, 99mTc-annexin A5 was injected and cryostat sections of aortic tissues (n  =  10-12/aorta) were prepared. The 99mTc-annexin A5 accumulation level in the plaques was evaluated by autoradiography. Serial sections of the plaques were histologically examined to identify the lesion phenotypes (normal vessels, early lesions, atheromatous lesions, and fibrotic lesions), plaque size, macrophage infiltration levels, and lipid deposition levels. Telmisartan treatment significantly decreased the plaque size (0.05 ± 0.05 vs 0.11 ± 0.08, mm2), macrophage infiltration level (0.02 ± 0.02 vs 0.03 ± 0.02, mm2), lipid deposition level (0.01 ± 0.01 vs 0.02 ± 0.02, mm2), and 99mTc-annexin A5 accumulation level (1.30 ± 1.09 vs 2.15 ± 1.91, × 10-6/g). 99mTc-annexin A5 accumulation levels in the plaques positively correlated with macrophage infiltration (r  =  .69, p < .05) and lipid deposition (r  =  .66, p < .05) levels. Apoptosis imaging with 99mTc-annexin A5 may be useful for evaluating the therapeutic effects of ARBs on atherosclerosis.

  6. Site-specific Nitration of Apolipoprotein A-I at Tyrosine 166 Is Both Abundant within Human Atherosclerotic Plaque and Dysfunctional*

    PubMed Central

    DiDonato, Joseph A.; Aulak, Kulwant; Huang, Ying; Wagner, Matthew; Gerstenecker, Gary; Topbas, Celalettin; Gogonea, Valentin; DiDonato, Anthony J.; Tang, W. H. Wilson; Mehl, Ryan A.; Fox, Paul L.; Plow, Edward F.; Smith, Jonathan D.; Fisher, Edward A.; Hazen, Stanley L.

    2014-01-01

    We reported previously that apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) is oxidatively modified in the artery wall at tyrosine 166 (Tyr166), serving as a preferred site for post-translational modification through nitration. Recent studies, however, question the extent and functional importance of apoA-I Tyr166 nitration based upon studies of HDL-like particles recovered from atherosclerotic lesions. We developed a monoclonal antibody (mAb 4G11.2) that recognizes, in both free and HDL-bound forms, apoA-I harboring a 3-nitrotyrosine at position 166 apoA-I (NO2-Tyr166-apoA-I) to investigate the presence, distribution, and function of this modified apoA-I form in atherosclerotic and normal artery wall. We also developed recombinant apoA-I with site-specific 3-nitrotyrosine incorporation only at position 166 using an evolved orthogonal nitro-Tyr-aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase/tRNACUA pair for functional studies. Studies with mAb 4G11.2 showed that NO2-Tyr166-apoA-I was easily detected in atherosclerotic human coronary arteries and accounted for ∼8% of total apoA-I within the artery wall but was nearly undetectable (>100-fold less) in normal coronary arteries. Buoyant density ultracentrifugation analyses showed that NO2-Tyr166-apoA-I existed as a lipid-poor lipoprotein with <3% recovered within the HDL-like fraction (d = 1.063–1.21). NO2-Tyr166-apoA-I in plasma showed a similar distribution. Recovery of NO2-Tyr166-apoA-I using immobilized mAb 4G11.2 showed an apoA-I form with 88.1 ± 8.5% reduction in lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase activity, a finding corroborated using a recombinant apoA-I specifically designed to include the unnatural amino acid exclusively at position 166. Thus, site-specific nitration of apoA-I at Tyr166 is an abundant modification within the artery wall that results in selective functional impairments. Plasma levels of this modified apoA-I form may provide insights into a pathophysiological process within the diseased artery wall. PMID:24558038

  7. WE-A-17A-12: The Influence of Eye Plaque Design On Dose Distributions and Dose- Volume Histograms

    SciTech Connect

    Aryal, P; Molloy, JA; Rivard, MJ

    2014-06-15

    Purpose: To investigate the effect of slot design of the model EP917 plaque on dose distributions and dose-volume histograms (DVHs). Methods: The dimensions and orientation of the slots in EP917 plaques were measured. In the MCNP5 radiation simulation geometry, dose distributions on orthogonal planes and DVHs for a tumor and sclera were generated for comparisons. 27 slot designs and 13 plaques were evaluated and compared with the published literature and the Plaque Simulator clinical treatment planning system. Results: The dosimetric effect of the gold backing composition and mass density was < 3%. Slot depth, width, and length changed the central axis (CAX) dose distributions by < 1% per 0.1 mm in design variation. Seed shifts in the slot towards the eye and shifts of the {sup 125} I-coated Ag rod within the capsule had the greatest impact on CAX dose distribution, increasing by 14%, 9%, 4%, and 2.5% at 1, 2, 5, and 10 mm, respectively, from the inner sclera. Along the CAX, dose from the full plaque geometry using the measured slot design was 3.4% ± 2.3% higher than the manufacturer-provided geometry. D{sub 10} for the simulated tumor, inner sclera, and outer sclera for the measured plaque was also higher, but 9%, 10%, and 20%, respectively. In comparison to the measured plaque design, a theoretical plaque having narrow and deep slots delivered 30%, 37%, and 62% lower D{sub 10} doses to the tumor, inner sclera, and outer sclera, respectively. CAX doses at −1, 0, 1, and 2 mm were also lower by a factor of 2.6, 1.4, 1.23, and 1.13, respectively. Conclusion: The study identified substantial sensitivity of the EP917 plaque dose distributions to slot design. However, it did not identify substantial dosimetric variations based on radionuclide choice ({sup 125}I, {sup 103}Pd, or {sup 131}Cs). COMS plaques provided lower scleral doses with similar tumor dose coverage.

  8. On the potential of a new IVUS elasticity modulus imaging approach for detecting vulnerable atherosclerotic coronary plaques: in vitro vessel phantom study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Floc'h, Simon; Cloutier, Guy; Finet, Gérard; Tracqui, Philippe; Pettigrew, Roderic I.; Ohayon, Jacques

    2010-10-01

    Peak cap stress amplitude is recognized as a good indicator of vulnerable plaque (VP) rupture. However, such stress evaluation strongly relies on a precise, but still lacking, knowledge of the mechanical properties exhibited by the plaque components. As a first response to this limitation, our group recently developed, in a previous theoretical study, an original approach, called iMOD (imaging modulography), which reconstructs elasticity maps (or modulograms) of atheroma plaques from the estimation of strain fields. In the present in vitro experimental study, conducted on polyvinyl alcohol cryogel arterial phantoms, we investigate the benefit of coupling the iMOD procedure with the acquisition of intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) measurements for detection of VP. Our results show that the combined iMOD-IVUS strategy: (1) successfully detected and quantified soft inclusion contours with high positive predictive and sensitivity values of 89.7 ± 3.9% and 81.5 ± 8.8%, respectively, (2) estimated reasonably cap thicknesses larger than ~300 µm, but underestimated thinner caps, and (3) quantified satisfactorily Young's modulus of hard medium (mean value of 109.7 ± 23.7 kPa instead of 145.4 ± 31.8 kPa), but overestimated the stiffness of soft inclusions (mean Young`s moduli of 31.4 ± 9.7 kPa instead of 17.6 ± 3.4 kPa). All together, these results demonstrate a promising benefit of the new iMOD-IVUS clinical imaging method for in vivo VP detection.

  9. On the potential of a new IVUS elasticity modulus imaging approach for detecting vulnerable atherosclerotic coronary plaques: in vitro vessel phantom study.

    PubMed

    Le Floc'h, Simon; Cloutier, Guy; Finet, Gérard; Tracqui, Philippe; Pettigrew, Roderic I; Ohayon, Jacques

    2010-10-01

    Peak cap stress amplitude is recognized as a good indicator of vulnerable plaque (VP) rupture. However, such stress evaluation strongly relies on a precise, but still lacking, knowledge of the mechanical properties exhibited by the plaque components. As a first response to this limitation, our group recently developed, in a previous theoretical study, an original approach, called iMOD (imaging modulography), which reconstructs elasticity maps (or modulograms) of atheroma plaques from the estimation of strain fields. In the present in vitro experimental study, conducted on polyvinyl alcohol cryogel arterial phantoms, we investigate the benefit of coupling the iMOD procedure with the acquisition of intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) measurements for detection of VP. Our results show that the combined iMOD-IVUS strategy: (1) successfully detected and quantified soft inclusion contours with high positive predictive and sensitivity values of 89.7 ± 3.9% and 81.5 ± 8.8%, respectively, (2) estimated reasonably cap thicknesses larger than ∼300 µm, but underestimated thinner caps, and (3) quantified satisfactorily Young's modulus of hard medium (mean value of 109.7 ± 23.7 kPa instead of 145.4 ± 31.8 kPa), but overestimated the stiffness of soft inclusions (mean Young`s moduli of 31.4 ± 9.7 kPa instead of 17.6 ± 3.4 kPa). All together, these results demonstrate a promising benefit of the new iMOD-IVUS clinical imaging method for in vivo VP detection.

  10. The Intravascular Ultrasound Elasticity-Palpography Technique Revisited: A Reliable Tool for the in vivo Detection of Vulnerable Coronary Atherosclerotic Plaques

    PubMed Central

    Deleaval, Flavien; Bouvier, Adeline; Finet, Gérard; Cloutier, Guy; Yazdani, Saami K.; Le Floc’h, Simon; Clarysse, Patrick; Pettigrew, Roderic I.; Ohayon, Jacques

    2016-01-01

    A critical key in detection of vulnerable plaques (VPs) is the quantification of its mechanical properties. From the intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) echogram and strain images, Céspedes et al. (2000) proposed an elasticity-palpography technique (E-PT) to estimate the apparent stress-strain modulus (S-SM) palpogram of the thick endoluminal layer of the arterial wall. However, this approach suffers from major limitations because it was developed for homogeneous, circular and concentric VPs. The present study was therefore designed to improve the E-PT by considering the anatomical shape of the VP. This improved E-PT (IE-PT) was successfully applied to six coronary lesions of patients imaged in vivo with IVUS. Our results demonstrated that the mean relative error of the S-SM decreased from 61.02±9.01% to 15.12±12.57% when considering the IE-PT instead of the E-PT. The accuracy of the S-SM palpograms computed by using the improved theoretical framework was also investigated with regard to noise which may affect prediction of plaque vulnerability. PMID:23727295

  11. High-speed Intravascular Photoacoustic Imaging of Lipid-laden Atherosclerotic Plaque Enabled by a 2-kHz Barium Nitrite Raman Laser

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Pu; Ma, Teng; Slipchenko, Mikhail N.; Liang, Shanshan; Hui, Jie; Shung, K. Kirk; Roy, Sukesh; Sturek, Michael; Zhou, Qifa; Chen, Zhongping; Cheng, Ji-Xin

    2014-01-01

    Lipid deposition inside the arterial wall is a key indicator of plaque vulnerability. An intravascular photoacoustic (IVPA) catheter is considered a promising device for quantifying the amount of lipid inside the arterial wall. Thus far, IVPA systems suffered from slow imaging speed (~50 s per frame) due to the lack of a suitable laser source for high-speed excitation of molecular overtone vibrations. Here, we report an improvement in IVPA imaging speed by two orders of magnitude, to 1.0 s per frame, enabled by a custom-built, 2-kHz master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA)-pumped, barium nitrite [Ba(NO3)2] Raman laser. This advancement narrows the gap in translating the IVPA technology to the clinical setting. PMID:25366991

  12. BEDVH--A method for evaluating biologically effective dose volume histograms: Application to eye plaque brachytherapy implants

    SciTech Connect

    Gagne, Nolan L.; Leonard, Kara L.; Huber, Kathryn E.; Mignano, John E.; Duker, Jay S.; Laver, Nora V.; Rivard, Mark J.

    2012-02-15

    Purpose: A method is introduced to examine the influence of implant duration T, radionuclide, and radiobiological parameters on the biologically effective dose (BED) throughout the entire volume of regions of interest for episcleral brachytherapy using available radionuclides. This method is employed to evaluate a particular eye plaque brachytherapy implant in a radiobiological context. Methods: A reference eye geometry and 16 mm COMS eye plaque loaded with {sup 103}Pd, {sup 125}I, or {sup 131}Cs sources were examined with dose distributions accounting for plaque heterogeneities. For a standardized 7 day implant, doses to 90% of the tumor volume ( {sub TUMOR}D{sub 90}) and 10% of the organ at risk volumes ( {sub OAR}D{sub 10}) were calculated. The BED equation from Dale and Jones and published {alpha}/{beta} and {mu} parameters were incorporated with dose volume histograms (DVHs) for various T values such as T = 7 days (i.e., {sub TUMOR} {sup 7}BED{sub 10} and {sub OAR} {sup 7}BED{sub 10}). By calculating BED throughout the volumes, biologically effective dose volume histograms (BEDVHs) were developed for tumor and OARs. Influence of T, radionuclide choice, and radiobiological parameters on {sub TUMOR}BEDVH and {sub OAR}BEDVH were examined. The nominal dose was scaled for shorter implants to achieve biological equivalence. Results: {sub TUMOR}D{sub 90} values were 102, 112, and 110 Gy for {sup 103}Pd, {sup 125}I, and {sup 131}Cs, respectively. Corresponding {sub TUMOR} {sup 7}BED{sub 10} values were 124, 140, and 138 Gy, respectively. As T decreased from 7 to 0.01 days, the isobiologically effective prescription dose decreased by a factor of three. As expected, {sub TUMOR} {sup 7}BEDVH did not significantly change as a function of radionuclide half-life but varied by 10% due to radionuclide dose distribution. Variations in reported radiobiological parameters caused {sub TUMOR} {sup 7}BED{sub 10} to deviate by up to 46%. Over the range of {sub OAR

  13. In vitro angioplasty of atherosclerotic human femoral arteries: analysis of the geometrical changes in the individual tissues using MRI and image processing.

    PubMed

    Auer, Martin; Stollberger, Rudolf; Regitnig, Peter; Ebner, Franz; Holzapfel, Gerhard A

    2010-04-01

    Existing atherosclerotic plaque imaging techniques such as intravascular ultrasound, multidetector computed tomography, optical coherence tomography, and high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (hrMRI) require computerized methods to separate and analyze the plaque morphology. In this work, we perform in vitro balloon angioplasty experiments with 10 human femoral arteries using hrMRI and image processing. The vessel segments contain low-grade to high-grade lesions with very different plaque compositions. The experiments are designed to mimic the in vivo situation. We use a semi-automatic image processing tool to extract the three-dimensional (3D) geometries of the tissue components at four characteristic stages of the angioplasty procedure. The obtained geometries are then used to determine geometrical and mechanical indices in order to characterize, classify, and analyze the atherosclerotic plaques by their specific geometrical changes. During inflation, three vessels ruptured via helical crack propagation. The adventitia, media, and intima did not preserve their area/volume during inflation; the area changes of the lipid pool during inflation were significant. The characterization of changes in individual 3D tissue geometries, together with tissue-specific mechanical properties, may serve as a basis for refined finite element (FE) modeling, which is key to better understand stress evolution in various atherosclerotic plaque configurations. PMID:20148308

  14. Volumetric quantitation by MRI in primary progressive multiple sclerosis: volumes of plaques and atrophy correlated with neurological disability.

    PubMed

    Ukkonen, M; Dastidar, P; Heinonen, T; Laasonen, E; Elovaara, I

    2003-11-01

    In primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) abnormalities in brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) differ from abnormalities in other subtypes of multiple sclerosis (MS). It was investigated whether the extent of brain and spinal cord MRI abnormalities is reflected in the neurological disability in PPMS. Focal and diffuse changes and atrophy in central nervous system (CNS) in patients with PPMS (n = 28) and healthy controls (n = 20) were assessed by semi-automatic MRI segmentation and volumetric analysis. The measurements were related to neurological disability as expressed by the expanded disability status scale (EDSS), the regional functional scoring system (RFSS), the arm index and the ambulation index. Plaques in T1- and/or T2-weighted images were seen in all brains, while spinal plaques were detected in 23 of 28 patients (82%). The total volumes of brain and spinal cord were significantly smaller in patients than in controls (P = 0.001 and 0.000, respectively). The volumes of T1 or T2 lesions in the brain correlated to the ambulation index (r = 0.51, P = 0.005 and r = 0.53, P = 0.004, respectively). No correlations were detected between MRI measurements and total EDSS score, but relative brain atrophy correlated inversely with the total RFSS scores, poor arm index and higher cerebral disturbances (r = -0.53, P = 0.004; r = -0.53, P = 0.004; and r = -0.52, P = 0.005, respectively). Although the number of spinal T2 lesions correlated with sensory disturbances (r = 0.60, P = 0.001), no correlations were found between EDSS subscores and spinal cord atrophy. These findings show that marked atrophy of brain and spinal cord detected by volumetric quantitation correlates with neurological disability. This observation indicates the importance of neurodegenerative events in PPMS. PMID:14641511

  15. Treatment of patients with aortic atherosclerotic disease with paclitaxel-associated lipid nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Shiozaki, Afonso A.; Senra, Tiago; Morikawa, Aleksandra T.; Deus, Débora F.; Paladino, Antonio T; Pinto, Ibraim M.F.; Maranhão, Raul C.

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: The toxicity of anti-cancer chemotherapeutic agents can be reduced by associating these compounds, such as the anti-proliferative agent paclitaxel, with a cholesterol-rich nanoemulsion (LDE) that mimics the lipid composition of low-density lipoprotein (LDL). When injected into circulation, the LDE concentrates the carried drugs in neoplastic tissues and atherosclerotic lesions. In rabbits, atherosclerotic lesion size was reduced by 65% following LDE-paclitaxel treatment. The current study aimed to test the effectiveness of LDE-paclitaxel on inpatients with aortic atherosclerosis. METHODS: This study tested a 175 mg/m2 body surface area dose of LDE-paclitaxel (intravenous administration, 3/3 weeks for 6 cycles) in patients with aortic atherosclerosis who were aged between 69 and 86 yrs. A control group of 9 untreated patients with aortic atherosclerosis (72-83 yrs) was also observed. RESULTS: The LDE-paclitaxel treatment elicited no important clinical or laboratory toxicities. Images were acquired via multiple detector computer tomography angiography (64-slice scanner) before treatment and at 1-2 months after treatment. The images showed that the mean plaque volume in the aortic artery wall was reduced in 4 of the 8 patients, while in 3 patients it remained unchanged and in one patient it increased. In the control group, images were acquired twice with an interval of 6-8 months. None of the patients in this group exhibited a reduction in plaque volume; in contrast, the plaque volume increased in three patients and remained stable in four patients. During the study period, one death unrelated to the treatment occurred in the LDE-paclitaxel group and one death occurred in the control group. CONCLUSION: Treatment with LDE-paclitaxel was tolerated by patients with cardiovascular disease and showed the potential to reduce atherosclerotic lesion size. PMID:27626473

  16. Treatment of patients with aortic atherosclerotic disease with paclitaxel-associated lipid nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Shiozaki, Afonso A.; Senra, Tiago; Morikawa, Aleksandra T.; Deus, Débora F.; Paladino, Antonio T; Pinto, Ibraim M.F.; Maranhão, Raul C.

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: The toxicity of anti-cancer chemotherapeutic agents can be reduced by associating these compounds, such as the anti-proliferative agent paclitaxel, with a cholesterol-rich nanoemulsion (LDE) that mimics the lipid composition of low-density lipoprotein (LDL). When injected into circulation, the LDE concentrates the carried drugs in neoplastic tissues and atherosclerotic lesions. In rabbits, atherosclerotic lesion size was reduced by 65% following LDE-paclitaxel treatment. The current study aimed to test the effectiveness of LDE-paclitaxel on inpatients with aortic atherosclerosis. METHODS: This study tested a 175 mg/m2 body surface area dose of LDE-paclitaxel (intravenous administration, 3/3 weeks for 6 cycles) in patients with aortic atherosclerosis who were aged between 69 and 86 yrs. A control group of 9 untreated patients with aortic atherosclerosis (72-83 yrs) was also observed. RESULTS: The LDE-paclitaxel treatment elicited no important clinical or laboratory toxicities. Images were acquired via multiple detector computer tomography angiography (64-slice scanner) before treatment and at 1-2 months after treatment. The images showed that the mean plaque volume in the aortic artery wall was reduced in 4 of the 8 patients, while in 3 patients it remained unchanged and in one patient it increased. In the control group, images were acquired twice with an interval of 6-8 months. None of the patients in this group exhibited a reduction in plaque volume; in contrast, the plaque volume increased in three patients and remained stable in four patients. During the study period, one death unrelated to the treatment occurred in the LDE-paclitaxel group and one death occurred in the control group. CONCLUSION: Treatment with LDE-paclitaxel was tolerated by patients with cardiovascular disease and showed the potential to reduce atherosclerotic lesion size.

  17. Detection of atherosclerotic vascular tissue from optical coherence tomography images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prakash, Ammu; Hewko, Mark; Sowa, Mike; Sherif, Sherif

    2012-10-01

    Atherosclerotic coronary artery disease continues to be one of the major causes of mortality. Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of atherosclerotic coronary artery disease are dependent on the detection of high risk atherosclerotic plaque. As age is one of the most important risk factors, atherosclerosis worsens steadily with increasing age. Automatic characterization of atherosclerotic plaque using the optical coherence tomography (OCT) images provides a powerful tool to classify patients with high risk plaque. In this study we develop an automatic classifier to detect atherosclerotic plaque in young and old Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic (WHHL) rabbits, using OCT images without reliance on visual inspection. Our classifier based on texture analysis technique may provide an efficient tool for detecting invisible changes in tissue structure. We extracted a set of 22 statistical textural features for each image using the spatial gray level dependence matrix (SGLDM) method. An optimal scalar feature selection process was carried to select the best discriminating features that employ the Fisher discriminant ratio (FDR) criterion, and cross correlation measure between the pairs of features. Using these optimal features, we formed a combination of 5 best classification features using an exhaustive search method. A combined feature set was finally employed for the classification of plaque. We obtained correct classification rate and validation of 76.67% and 75% respectively.

  18. Intravascular photoacoustic tomography for characterization of atherosclerotic lipid and inflammation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jian; Qin, Huan; Shi, Yujiao; Yang, Sihua; Xing, Da

    2014-09-01

    Photoacoustic imaging is a fast growing imaging technology depending on its high optical resolution of optics while taking the advantage of the high penetration depth of ultrasound. In this paper, we demonstrate the new progress in the photoacoustic imaging. Atherosclerosis is characterized by a progressive build-up of lipid in the arterial wall, which is known as plaque. Histological studies demonstrate that the primary cause of acute cardiovascular events is the rupture of atherosclerotic plaques. Lipid and inflammation within the plaque are related to influence the propensity of plaques to disrupt. Photoacoustic intravascular tomography (IVPAT) holds a great advantage in providing comprehensive morphological and functional information of plaques. Lipid relative concentration maps of atherosclerotic aorta were obtained and compared with histology. Furthermore, by selectively targeting the intravascular inflammatory cytokines, IVPAT is also capable of mapping the inflamed area and determining the degree of inflammation.

  19. Elevated hemoglobin A1c Is Associated with Carotid Plaque Vulnerability: Novel Findings from Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study in Hypertensive Stroke Patients

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Beibei; Zhao, Huilin; Liu, Xiaosheng; Lu, Qing; Zhao, Xihai; Pu, Jun; Xu, Jianrong

    2016-01-01

    The association between hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level and carotid plaque vulnerability has been rarely studied by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The present study of MRI-identified carotid atherosclerotic lesions in hypertensive patients with acute stroke therefore sought to determine the associations between HbA1c level and plaque morphological and compositional characteristics and acute cerebral infarction (ACI) severity. Eighty hypertensive patients with acute stroke were enrolled; stratified into high (≥6.5%) and low (<6.5%) HbA1c groups; and underwent carotid and brain MRI to assess carotid plaque features and ACI volume in the region supplied by the internal carotid artery (ICA) in the symptomatic side. Plaque burden [percent wall volume (PWV), max wall thickness (max-WT)] and lipid-rich necrotic core (LRNC) were larger in the high as compared to the low HbA1c group. High HbA1c was an independent risk factor for the presence of plaque (odds ratio [OR] = 3.71) and LRNC plaque (OR = 7.08). HbA1c independently correlated with ACI severity among patients with ICA region cerebral infarction and carotid plaque. Our study suggested that an elevated HbA1c may have an adverse effect on carotid plaque vulnerability especially those with larger LRNC volumes in hypertensive stroke patients, which might exacerbate the severity of ACIs. PMID:27629481

  20. Elevated hemoglobin A1c Is Associated with Carotid Plaque Vulnerability: Novel Findings from Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study in Hypertensive Stroke Patients.

    PubMed

    Sun, Beibei; Zhao, Huilin; Liu, Xiaosheng; Lu, Qing; Zhao, Xihai; Pu, Jun; Xu, Jianrong

    2016-01-01

    The association between hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level and carotid plaque vulnerability has been rarely studied by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The present study of MRI-identified carotid atherosclerotic lesions in hypertensive patients with acute stroke therefore sought to determine the associations between HbA1c level and plaque morphological and compositional characteristics and acute cerebral infarction (ACI) severity. Eighty hypertensive patients with acute stroke were enrolled; stratified into high (≥6.5%) and low (<6.5%) HbA1c groups; and underwent carotid and brain MRI to assess carotid plaque features and ACI volume in the region supplied by the internal carotid artery (ICA) in the symptomatic side. Plaque burden [percent wall volume (PWV), max wall thickness (max-WT)] and lipid-rich necrotic core (LRNC) were larger in the high as compared to the low HbA1c group. High HbA1c was an independent risk factor for the presence of plaque (odds ratio [OR] = 3.71) and LRNC plaque (OR = 7.08). HbA1c independently correlated with ACI severity among patients with ICA region cerebral infarction and carotid plaque. Our study suggested that an elevated HbA1c may have an adverse effect on carotid plaque vulnerability especially those with larger LRNC volumes in hypertensive stroke patients, which might exacerbate the severity of ACIs. PMID:27629481

  1. A Rabbit Model of Thrombosis on Atherosclerotic Lesions

    PubMed Central

    Yamashita, Atsushi; Asada, Yujiro

    2011-01-01

    Thrombus formation on a disrupted atherosclerotic plaque is a key event that leads to atherothrombosis. Because thrombus is induced by chemical or physical injury of normal arteries in most animal models of thrombosis, the mechanisms of thrombogenesis and thrombus growth in atherosclerotic vessels should be investigated in diseased arteries of appropriate models. Pathological findings of human atherothrombosis suggest that tissue factor, an initiator of the coagulation cascade, significantly affects enhanced platelet aggregation and fibrin formation after plaque disruption. We established a rabbit model of atherothrombosis based on human pathology in which differences in thrombus formation between normal and atherosclerotic arteries, factors contributing to thrombus growth, and mechanisms of plaque erosion can be investigated. Emerging transgenic and stem cell technologies should also provide an invaluable rabbit experimental model in the near future. PMID:21253503

  2. Molecular Imaging of Plaque Vulnerability

    PubMed Central

    Tavakoli, Sina; Vashist, Aseem; Sadeghi, Mehran M.

    2014-01-01

    Over the past decade significant progress has been made in the development of novel imaging strategies focusing on the biology of the vessel wall for identification of vulnerable plaques. While the majority of these studies are still in the preclinical stage, few techniques (e.g., 18F-FDG and 18F-NaF PET imaging) have already been evaluated in clinical studies with promising results. Here, we will briefly review the pathobiology of atherosclerosis and discuss molecular imaging strategies that have been developed to target these events, with an emphasis on mechanisms that are associated with atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability. PMID:25124827

  3. Vascular MR segmentation: wall and plaque

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Fuxing; Holzapfel, Gerhard; Schulze-Bauer, Christian; Stollberger, Rudolf; Thedens, Daniel; Bolinger, Lizann; Stolpen, Alan; Sonka, Milan

    2003-05-01

    Cardiovascular events frequently result from local rupture of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque. Non-invasive assessment of plaque vulnerability is needed to allow institution of preventive measures before heart attack or stroke occur. A computerized method for segmentation of arterial wall layers and plaque from high-resolution volumetric MR images is reported. The method uses dynamic programming to detect optimal borders in each MRI frame. The accuracy of the results was tested in 62 T1-weighted MR images from 6 vessel specimens in comparison to borders manually determined by an expert observer. The mean signed border positioning errors for the lumen, internal elastic lamina, and external elastic lamina borders were -0.12+/-0.14 mm, 0.04+/-0.12mm, and -0.15+/-0.13 mm, respectively. The presented wall layer segmentation approach is one of the first steps towards non-invasive assessment of plaque vulnerability in atherosclerotic subjects.

  4. Towards coronary plaque imaging using simultaneous PET-MR: a simulation study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petibon, Y.; El Fakhri, G.; Nezafat, R.; Johnson, N.; Brady, T.; Ouyang, J.

    2014-03-01

    Coronary atherosclerotic plaque rupture is the main cause of myocardial infarction and the leading killer in the US. Inflammation is a known bio-marker of plaque vulnerability and can be assessed non-invasively using fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography imaging (FDG-PET). However, cardiac and respiratory motion of the heart makes PET detection of coronary plaque very challenging. Fat surrounding coronary arteries allows the use of MRI to track plaque motion during simultaneous PET-MR examination. In this study, we proposed and assessed the performance of a fat-MR based coronary motion correction technique for improved FDG-PET coronary plaque imaging in simultaneous PET-MR. The proposed methods were evaluated in a realistic four-dimensional PET-MR simulation study obtained by combining patient water-fat separated MRI and XCAT anthropomorphic phantom. Five small lesions were digitally inserted inside the patients coronary vessels to mimic coronary atherosclerotic plaques. The heart of the XCAT phantom was digitally replaced with the patient's heart. Motion-dependent activity distributions, attenuation maps, and fat-MR volumes of the heart, were generated using the XCAT cardiac and respiratory motion fields. A full Monte Carlo simulation using Siemens mMR's geometry was performed for each motion phase. Cardiac/respiratory motion fields were estimated using non-rigid registration of the transformed fat-MR volumes and incorporated directly into the system matrix of PET reconstruction along with motion-dependent attenuation maps. The proposed motion correction method was compared to conventional PET reconstruction techniques such as no motion correction, cardiac gating, and dual cardiac-respiratory gating. Compared to uncorrected reconstructions, fat-MR based motion compensation yielded an average improvement of plaque-to-background contrast of 29.6%, 43.7%, 57.2%, and 70.6% for true plaque-to-blood ratios of 10, 15, 20 and 25:1, respectively. Channelized

  5. Assessment of Coronary Plaque Vulnerability with Optical Coherence Tomography

    PubMed Central

    Uemura, Shiro; Soeda, Tsunenari; Sugawara, Yu; Ueda, Tomoya; Watanabe, Makoto; Saito, Yoshihiko

    2014-01-01

    Several catheter-based imaging modalities have been developed over the past 2 decades for visualizing the morphological features of coronary atherosclerotic plaques that are susceptible to future development of serious cardiovascular events. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a new high-resolution intracoronary imaging modality based on near-infrared interferometry, and it has been shown to be able to identify various components of atheromatous plaques. In this review, we examine the histopathology of vulnerable plaques as a target for imaging technology, and discuss the evidence of OCT in identifying vulnerable atherosclerotic lesions in patients with coronary artery disease. PMID:27122761

  6. Imaging Atherosclerosis and Vulnerable Plaque

    PubMed Central

    Sadeghi, Mehran M.; Glover, David K.; Lanza, Gregory M.; Fayad, Zahi A.; Johnson, Lynne L.

    2010-01-01

    Identifying patients at high risk for an acute cardiovascular event such as myocardial infarction or stroke and assessing the total atherosclerotic burden are clinically important. Currently available imaging modalities can delineate vascular wall anatomy and, with novel probes, target biologic processes important in plaque evolution and plaque stability. Expansion of the vessel wall involving remodeling of the extracellular matrix can be imaged, as can angiogenesis of the vasa vasorum, plaque inflammation, and fibrin deposits on early nonocclusive vascular thrombosis. Several imaging platforms are available for targeted vascular imaging to acquire information on both anatomy and pathobiology in the same imaging session using either hybrid technology (nuclear combined with CT) or MRI combined with novel probes targeting processes identified by molecular biology to be of importance. This article will discuss the current state of the art of these modalities and challenges to clinical translation. PMID:20395341

  7. Natural history of atherosclerotic disease progression as assessed by (18)F-FDG PET/CT.

    PubMed

    Hetterich, Holger; Rominger, Axel; Walter, Lisa; Habs, Maximilian; Volpers, Sarah; Hacker, Marcus; Reiser, Maximilian F; Bartenstein, Peter; Saam, Tobias

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the impact of cardiovascular risk factors and plaque inflammation on the progression of atherosclerosis as assessed by positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) imaging with (18)F-radiolabled fluorodeoxyglucose ((18)F-FDG). This study was designed as a retrospective cohort study. Patients who received a (18)F-FDG PET/CT scan and follow-up scan 9-24 months later without systemic inflammation or steroid medication were eligible for the study. (18)F-FDG PET/CT included a full diagnostic contrast enhanced CT scan. Cardiovascular risk factors and medication were documented. Calcified plaque volume, lumen area and (18)F-FDG uptake, quantified by the target-to-background ratio (TBR), were measured in the carotid arteries, aorta and iliac arteries. Influence of cardiovascular risk factors and vessel wall inflammation on atherosclerotic disease progression was analyzed. Ninety-four patients underwent baseline and follow-up whole body (18)F-FDG PET/CT (mean follow-up time 14.5 ± 3.5 months). Annualized calcified plaque volume increased by 15.4 % (p < 0.0001), carotid and aortic lumen area decreased by 10.5 % (p < 0.0001) and 1.7 % (p = 0.045). There was no significant difference in (18)F-FDG uptake at baseline and follow-up (mean TBR 1.44 ± 0.18 vs. 1.42 ± 0.19, p = 0.18). Multiple linear regression analysis identified hypertension as an independent predictor for total, aortic and iliac calcified plaque volume progression (all p < 0.04). Carotid lumen reduction was predicted by hypercholesterolemia (p = 0.008) while aortic lumen reduction was associated with BMI and mean (18)F-FDG uptake (p ≤ 0.005). Furthermore we observed a dose response relationship between the number of cardiovascular risk factors and calcified plaque volume progression in the aorta (p = 0.03). Findings from this study provide data on the natural history of atherosclerotic disease burden in multiple vascular beds and emphasize the value of

  8. Stabilization of high-risk plaques

    PubMed Central

    Takata, Kohei; Zhang, Bo; Miura, Shin-ichiro; Saku, Keijiro

    2016-01-01

    The prevalence of atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases (ASCVDs) is increasing globally and they have become the leading cause of death in most countries. Numerous experimental and clinical studies have been conducted to identify major risk factors and effective control strategies for ASCVDs. The development of imaging modalities with the ability to determine the plaque composition enables us to further identify high-risk plaque and evaluate the effectiveness of different treatment strategies. While intensive lipid-lowering by statins can stabilize or even regress plaque by various mechanisms, such as the reduction of lipid accumulation in a necrotic lipid core, the reduction of inflammation, and improvement of endothelial function, there are still considerable residual risks that need to be understood. We reviewed important findings regarding plaque vulnerability and some encouraging emerging approaches for plaque stabilization. PMID:27500090

  9. Vulnerable Plaque

    MedlinePlus

    ... all vulnerable plaque ruptures, and researchers at the Texas Heart Institute are looking at ways to determine ... comments. Terms of Use and Privacy Policy © Copyright Texas Heart Institute All rights reserved.

  10. Comparison of Intensive Versus Moderate Lipid-Lowering Therapy on Fibrous Cap and Atheroma Volume of Coronary Lipid-Rich Plaque Using Serial Optical Coherence Tomography and Intravascular Ultrasound Imaging.

    PubMed

    Hou, Jingbo; Xing, Lei; Jia, Haibo; Vergallo, Rocco; Soeda, Tsunerari; Minami, Yoshiyasu; Hu, Sining; Yang, Shuang; Zhang, Shaosong; Lee, Hang; Yu, Bo; Jang, Ik-Kyung

    2016-03-01

    Despite marked clinical benefit, reduction in atheroma volume with statin therapy is minimal. Changes in plaque composition may explain this discrepancy. We aimed in the present study to assess the effect of statin therapy on coronary plaque composition and plaque volume using serial multimodality imaging. From an open-label, single-blinded study, patients with angiographically mild-to-moderate lesion were randomized to receive atorvastatin 60 (AT 60) mg or atorvastatin 20 (AT 20) mg for 12 months. Optical coherence tomography was used to assess fibrous cap thickness (FCT) and intravascular ultrasound to assess atheroma burden at 3 time points: baseline, at 6 months, and at 12 months. Thirty-six lipid-rich plaques in 27 patients with AT 60 mg and 30 lipid-rich plaques in 19 patients with AT 20 mg were enrolled in this study. Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level was significantly decreased at 6 months without further reduction at 12 months. AT 60 mg induced greater reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol compared with AT 20 mg. Optical coherence tomography revealed continuous increase in FCT from baseline to 6 months and to 12 months in both groups. AT 60 mg induced greater increase in FCT compared with AT 20 mg at both follow-up points. The prevalence of thin-cap fibroatheroma and the presence of macrophage at 6 months were significantly lower in AT 60 mg compared with AT 20 mg. Plaque burden did not change significantly in both groups. In conclusion, both intensive and moderate statin therapy stabilizes coronary plaques, with a greater benefit in the intensive statin group. However, no significant changes in plaque volume were observed over time regardless of the intensity of statin therapy. PMID:26778524

  11. Fishbowl Plaques.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lambert, Phyllis Gilchrist

    1998-01-01

    Presents an elementary art activity that successfully teaches the process of slabbing by having students create fishbowl plaques. Explains the process step-by-step beginning with a demonstration to the students along with showing previous examples. Endorses a type of clay that fires white because the glaze colors are much more vibrant. (CMK)

  12. Relation of Plasma Lipoprotein(a) to Subclinical Coronary Plaque Volumes, Three-Vessel and Left Main Coronary Disease, and Severe Coronary Stenoses in Apparently Healthy African-Americans With a Family History of Early-Onset Coronary Artery Disease.

    PubMed

    Kral, Brian G; Kalyani, Rita R; Yanek, Lisa R; Vaidya, Dhananjay; Fishman, Elliot K; Becker, Diane M; Becker, Lewis C

    2016-09-01

    Serum lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] is a coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factor in persons of European ancestry. Levels are twofold to threefold higher in African-Americans (AAs), but reported associations with CAD have been inconsistent. The relation of Lp(a) with the extent and severity of subclinical coronary plaque has not been described in AAs. We screened 269 apparently healthy AAs for risk factors and coronary plaque using advanced coronary computed tomographic angiography. Total coronary plaque (TCP), noncalcified coronary plaque, and calcified coronary plaque volumes (mm(3)) were quantified using a validated automated method. Lp(a) was measured by ELISA. Multivariable modeling was performed with adjustment for traditional CAD risk factors and intrafamilial correlations. Mean age was 51 ± 11 years and 64% were female. Plaque was present in 41%. Lp(a) was independently associated with TCP volume [log(TCP + 1)] (p = 0.04), 3-vessel and/or left main involvement (p = 0.04), and at least 1 stenosis >50% (p = 0.006). Best-fit regression analyses showed that subjects with Lp(a) >40 mg/dl were threefold more likely to have 3-vessel and/or left main disease (95% confidence interval 1.4 to 6.8, p = 0.005) and fourfold more likely to have stenosis >50% (95% confidence interval 1.3 to 15.0, p = 0.02). In subjects with plaque (n = 110), multivariable models showed the Lp(a) level was significantly and independently associated with TCP (p = 0.009), noncalcified coronary plaque (p = 0.01), and calcified coronary plaque (p = 0.003) and affected vessel length (p = 0.01). In conclusion, high Lp(a) is strongly associated with coronary plaque volumes, extent, and severity in apparently healthy AAs. High levels of Lp(a) may be particularly important in the pathogenesis of CAD in AAs. PMID:27530333

  13. Multiphoton microscopy of atheroslcerotic plaques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lilledahl, Magnus B.; de Lange Davies, Catharina; Haugen, Olav A.; Svaasand, Lars O.

    2007-02-01

    Multiphoton microscopy is a techniques that fascilitates three dimensional imaging of intact, unstained tissue. Especially connective tissue has a relatively strong nonlinear optical response and can easily be imaged. Atherosclerosis is a disease where lipids accumulate in the vessel wall and there is a thickening of the intima by growth of a cap of connective tissue. The mechanical strength of this fibrous cap is of clinically importance. If the cap ruptures a thrombosis forms which can block a coronary vessel and therby causing myocardial infarction. Multiphoton microscopy can be used to image the fibrous cap and thereby determine the thickness of the cap and the structure of the connective fibres. This could possibly be developed into a diagnostic and clincal tool to monitor the vulnerability of a plaque and also to better understand the development of a plaque and effects of treatment. We have collected multiphoton microscopy images from atherosclerotic plaque in human aorta, both two photon excited fluorescens and second harmonic generated signal. The feasability of using this technique to determine the state of the plaque is explored.

  14. Expression of cartilage-specific markers in calcified and non-calcified atherosclerotic lesions.

    PubMed

    Aigner, Thomas; Neureiter, Daniel; Câmpean, Valentina; Soder, Stephan; Amann, Kerstin

    2008-01-01

    Recently, molecular mechanisms resembling endochondral ossification were suggested to be important for atherosclerotic vessel calcification. The aim of this study was to investigate in a series of human atherosclerotic (non-diabetic) lesions of the crural arteries the distribution and expression of classical marker genes of the endochondral ossification pathway. Immunostaining for marker proteins S-100 protein and collagen types II and X were performed on atherosclerotic lesions of different grades (according to Stary). Quantitative real-time PCR for human COL1A1, COL2A1, COL10A1, SOX9, and BMP-2 was applied on RNA isolated from atherosclerotic arteries. In most samples, no expression of collagen type II and S-100 protein was found. Exceptionally, S-100 protein and type II collagen expression was observed very focally within advanced atherosclerotic plaques. Type X collagen was not detected in any of the lesions investigated. Overall, in our study we found no evidence that chondrogenic differentiation pathways are generally active in atherosclerotic plaque formation. In particular type X collagen, one important molecule in cartilage calcification, was not expressed in any of the investigated specimens. Occasionally, however, chondrocytic differentiation markers occur within atherosclerotic lesions. This most likely represents a metaplastic event associated, but not causative for atherosclerotic vessel degeneration and calcification. PMID:17335825

  15. Immunolocalization of BMP-6, a novel TGF-beta-related cytokine, in normal and atherosclerotic smooth muscle cells.

    PubMed

    Schluesener, H J; Meyermann, R

    1995-03-01

    We have analyzed expression of a novel transforming growth factor type beta (TGF-beta)-related cytokine, bone morphogenetic protein-6 (BMP-6) in normal and atherosclerotic brain arteries. BMP-6 immunoreactivity was detected in smooth muscle cells of normal cerebral blood vessels. It is also expressed by smooth muscle cells of intimal plaques in atherosclerotically changed blood vessels. The BMPs regulate tissue modeling and remodeling and aberrant expression of BMPs might contribute to smooth muscle cell migration, proliferation, tissue reorganization and macrophage attraction, which are known mechanisms of atherosclerotic plaque formation. PMID:7605353

  16. Mathematical modelling of atheroma plaque formation and development in coronary arteries

    PubMed Central

    Cilla, Myriam; Peña, Estefanía; Martínez, Miguel A.

    2014-01-01

    Atherosclerosis is a vascular disease caused by inflammation of the arterial wall, which results in the accumulation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, monocytes, macrophages and fat-laden foam cells at the place of the inflammation. This process is commonly referred to as plaque formation. The evolution of the atherosclerosis disease, and in particular the influence of wall shear stress on the growth of atherosclerotic plaques, is still a poorly understood phenomenon. This work presents a mathematical model to reproduce atheroma plaque growth in coronary arteries. This model uses the Navier–Stokes equations and Darcy's law for fluid dynamics, convection–diffusion–reaction equations for modelling the mass balance in the lumen and intima, and the Kedem–Katchalsky equations for the interfacial coupling at membranes, i.e. endothelium. The volume flux and the solute flux across the interface between the fluid and the porous domains are governed by a three-pore model. The main species and substances which play a role in early atherosclerosis development have been considered in the model, i.e. LDL, oxidized LDL, monocytes, macrophages, foam cells, smooth muscle cells, cytokines and collagen. Furthermore, experimental data taken from the literature have been used in order to physiologically determine model parameters. The mathematical model has been implemented in a representative axisymmetric geometrical coronary artery model. The results show that the mathematical model is able to qualitatively capture the atheroma plaque development observed in the intima layer. PMID:24196695

  17. Analysis of Carotid color ultrasonography and high sensitive C-reactive protein in patients with atherosclerotic cerebral infarction

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Lei; Zhai, Zhanyi; Hou, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: To detect the correlation between high-sensitivity-CRP, carotid plaque, neurological function and intima–media thickness, and help physicians in the diagnosis of atherosclerotic cerebral infarction. Methods: A total of 96 patients with the first onset of atherosclerotic cerebral infarction were included in the study from July 2013 to May 2015. The test of high-sensitivity-CRP, examination of carotid color ultrasonography and neurological function evaluation were carried out for all the participants. Results: Ninety-six patients were divided into carotid plaque group and non-plaque group according to the existence of a carotid plaque after carotid artery ultrasonography. The carotid plaque group was further subdivided into stable plaque and unstable plaque subgroups according to plaque characteristics. The age in two subgroups was significantly higher than the non-plaque group (p<0.05). The unstable plaque subgroup presented with the highest values in intima–media thickness and high-sensitivity-CRP level, followed by stable plaque subgroup and non-plaque group (p<0.05). With the nervous damage scale increase, the level of high-sensitivity-CRP increase significantly (p<0.05). In addition, there was significant correlation between NIHSS score and high-sensitivity-CRP in patients with atherosclerotic cerebral infarction (p<0.05). Conclusion: The level of high-sensitivity-CRP and intima–media thickness is closely associated with the development of carotid plaque, and high-sensitivity-CRP can be regarded as a high sensitive index in deciding the risk and prognosis of atherosclerotic cerebral infarction. PMID:27648042

  18. Analysis of Carotid color ultrasonography and high sensitive C-reactive protein in patients with atherosclerotic cerebral infarction

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Lei; Zhai, Zhanyi; Hou, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: To detect the correlation between high-sensitivity-CRP, carotid plaque, neurological function and intima–media thickness, and help physicians in the diagnosis of atherosclerotic cerebral infarction. Methods: A total of 96 patients with the first onset of atherosclerotic cerebral infarction were included in the study from July 2013 to May 2015. The test of high-sensitivity-CRP, examination of carotid color ultrasonography and neurological function evaluation were carried out for all the participants. Results: Ninety-six patients were divided into carotid plaque group and non-plaque group according to the existence of a carotid plaque after carotid artery ultrasonography. The carotid plaque group was further subdivided into stable plaque and unstable plaque subgroups according to plaque characteristics. The age in two subgroups was significantly higher than the non-plaque group (p<0.05). The unstable plaque subgroup presented with the highest values in intima–media thickness and high-sensitivity-CRP level, followed by stable plaque subgroup and non-plaque group (p<0.05). With the nervous damage scale increase, the level of high-sensitivity-CRP increase significantly (p<0.05). In addition, there was significant correlation between NIHSS score and high-sensitivity-CRP in patients with atherosclerotic cerebral infarction (p<0.05). Conclusion: The level of high-sensitivity-CRP and intima–media thickness is closely associated with the development of carotid plaque, and high-sensitivity-CRP can be regarded as a high sensitive index in deciding the risk and prognosis of atherosclerotic cerebral infarction.

  19. Noninvasive imaging of focal atherosclerotic lesions using fluorescence molecular tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maji, Dolonchampa; Solomon, Metasebya; Nguyen, Annie; Pierce, Richard A.; Woodard, Pamela K.; Akers, Walter J.; Achilefu, Samuel; Culver, Joseph P.; Abendschein, Dana R.; Shokeen, Monica

    2014-11-01

    Insights into the etiology of stroke and myocardial infarction suggest that rupture of unstable atherosclerotic plaque is the precipitating event. Clinicians lack tools to detect lesion instability early enough to intervene, and are often left to manage patients empirically, or worse, after plaque rupture. Noninvasive imaging of the molecular events signaling prerupture plaque progression has the potential to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with myocardial infarction and stroke by allowing early intervention. Here, we demonstrate proof-of-principle in vivo molecular imaging of C-type natriuretic peptide receptor in focal atherosclerotic lesions in the femoral arteries of New Zealand white rabbits using a custom built fiber-based, fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) system. Longitudinal imaging showed changes in the fluorescence signal intensity as the plaque progressed in the air-desiccated vessel compared to the uninjured vessel, which was validated by ex vivo tissue studies. In summary, we demonstrate the potential of FMT for noninvasive detection of molecular events leading to unstable lesions heralding plaque rupture.

  20. A comparative study on plaque vulnerability using constitutive equations.

    PubMed

    Karimi, A; Navidbakhsh, M; Faghihi, S

    2014-03-01

    Atherosclerosis is the most serious and common form of cardiovascular disease in which plaque builds up inside the arteries. Peak plaque stress is considered as the main reason for plaque rupture, which results in heart attack and stroke. In the current research, the finite element method is used to anticipate plaque vulnerability, using human samples. A total of 23 healthy and atherosclerotic human coronary arteries (14 healthy and 9 atherosclerotic) were removed within 5 h postmortem. The samples were mounted on a uniaxial tensile test machine and the obtained mechanical properties were used in finite element models. The peak plaque stresses for the Ogden hyperelastic model were compared to the Mooney-Rivlin and Neo-Hookean outcomes. The results indicated that hypocellular plaque in all three models has the highest stress values compared to the cellular and calcified ones and, as a result, is quite prone to rupture. The calcified plaque type, in contrast, has the lowest stress values and remains stable. The results can be used in plaque vulnerability prediction and have clinical implications for interventions and surgeries such as balloon-angioplasty, cardiopulmonary bypass and stenting.

  1. In vivo determination of arterial collagen synthesis in atherosclerotic rabbits

    SciTech Connect

    Opsahl, W.P.; DeLuca, D.J.; Ehrhart, L.A.

    1986-03-01

    Collagen and non-collagen protein synthesis rates were determined in vivo in tissues from rabbits fed a control or atherogenic diet supplemented with 2% peanut oil and 0.25% cholesterol for 4 months. Rabbits received a bolus intravenous injection of L-(/sup 3/H)-proline (1.0 mCi/kg) and unlabeled L-proline (7 mmoles/kg) in 0.9% NaCl. Plasma proline specific activity decreased only 20% over 5 hr and was similar to the specific activity of free proline in tissues. Thoracic aortas from atherosclerotic rabbits exhibited raised plaques covering at least 75% of the surface. Thoracic intima plus a portion of the media (TIM) was separated from the remaining media plus adventitia (TMA). Dry delipidated weight, total collagen content, and collagen as a percent of dry weight were increased significantly in the TIM of atherosclerotic rabbits. Collagen synthesis rates and collagen synthesis as a percent of total protein synthesis were likewise increased both in the TIM and in the abdominal aortas. No differences from controls either in collagen content or collagen synthesis rates were observed in the TMA, lung or skin. These results demonstrate for the first time in vivo that formation of atherosclerotic plaques is associated with increased rates of collagen synthesis. Furthermore, as previously observed with incubations in vitro, collagen synthesis was elevated to a greater extent than noncollagen protein synthesis in atherosclerotic aortas from rabbits fed cholesterol plus peanut oil.

  2. High speed intravascular photoacoustic imaging of atherosclerotic arteries (Conference Presentation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piao, Zhonglie; Ma, Teng; Qu, Yueqiao; Li, Jiawen; Yu, Mingyue; He, Youmin; Shung, K. Kirk; Zhou, Qifa; Kim, Chang-Seok; Chen, Zhongping

    2016-02-01

    Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the industrialized nations. Accurate quantification of both the morphology and composition of lipid-rich vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque are essential for early detection and optimal treatment in clinics. In previous works, intravascular photoacoustic (IVPA) imaging for detection of lipid-rich plaque within coronary artery walls has been demonstrated in ex vivo, but the imaging speed is still limited. In order to increase the imaging speed, a high repetition rate laser is needed. In this work, we present a high speed integrated IVPA/US imaging system with a 500 Hz optical parametric oscillator laser at 1725 nm. A miniature catheter with 1.0 mm outer diameter was designed with a 200 μm multimode fiber and an ultrasound transducer with 45 MHz center frequency. The fiber was polished at 38 degree and enclosed in a glass capillary for total internal reflection. An optical/electrical rotary junction and pull-back mechanism was applied for rotating and linearly scanning the catheter to obtain three-dimensional imaging. Atherosclerotic rabbit abdominal aorta was imaged as two frame/second at 1725 nm. Furthermore, by wide tuning range of the laser wavelength from 1680 nm to 1770 nm, spectroscopic photoacoustic analysis of lipid-mimicking phantom and an human atherosclerotic artery was performed ex vivo. The results demonstrated that the developed IVPA/US imaging system is capable for high speed intravascular imaging for plaque detection.

  3. Micro-FTIR imaging spectroscopy of calcified atheromatous carotid plaques. Part IV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alò, Francesco; Conti, Carla; Ferraris, Paolo; Giorgini, Elisabetta; Rubini, Corrado; Sabbatini, Simona; Tosi, Giorgio

    2009-03-01

    Micro-imaging infrared spectroscopy has been performed on atheromatous plaques in order to localize and characterize substances responsible for the cytotoxic effects that prevent macrophages clearance of lipidic and calcified materials. In plaques with different graded atherosclerotic lesions, infrared determinations allowed to visualize gruel and ceroid toxic components and variously calcified zones. Compare correlations let to visualize the progression of the lesion on going from the lumen to the outer media of the plaque.

  4. Aterofisiol® in carotid plaque evolution

    PubMed Central

    Amato, Bruno; Compagna, Rita; Amato, Maurizio; Gallelli, Luca; de Franciscis, Stefano; Serra, Raffaele

    2015-01-01

    Background In patients with carotid stenosis, the risk of plaque rupture is related to the composition of the atherosclerotic plaque rather than to its magnitude. In this regard, we evaluated the effects of a supplement, Aterofisiol,® containing omega-3 (EPA [eicosapen acid] DHA [docosahexaenoic acid]), vitamin K2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC) and resveratrol on the composition of atherosclerotic plaque and on neurological symptoms in patients with carotid stenosis undergoing carotid endarterectomy. Methods The study was randomized, prospective, and double-blinded. Eligible patients were of both sexes, with carotid stenosis >70% who underwent endarterectomy. Enrolled patients were randomly allocated to receive either one tablet of acetylsalicylic acid 100 mg (Cardioaspirin®) + one tablet of Aterofisiol every 24 hours or one tablet of Cardioaspirin + one tablet of placebo every 24 hours. Each treatment was started 30 days before the surgery and was stopped 5 days before the surgery. The plaques were removed “en bloc” using standard surgical technique. Results During the study period, 214 patients (135 men and 79 women) were enrolled for intent-to-treat and randomized in two groups: Group A: 107 patients (68 men and 39 women) were treated with Cardioaspirin + Aterofisiol. Group B: 107 patients (67 men and 40 women) were treated with Cardioaspirin + placebo. At the end of the study, 202 patients participated fully (103 patients in Group A and 99 patients in Group B), making up the protocol evaluation population (94.4%). The mean lipid content of removed plaques was significantly lower (P<0.05) in Group A. We recorded a significantly lower incidence of neurological symptoms in Group A in comparison with Group B (P<0.05). Conclusion In the study, Aterofisiol showed to be effective in reducing the amounts of cholesterol and lipids in the plaques and in reducing adverse neurological events in the study group with respect to controls

  5. Impact of medical therapy on atheroma volume measured by different cardiovascular imaging modalities.

    PubMed

    Sinno, Mohamad C N; Al-Mallah, Mouaz

    2010-01-01

    Atherosclerosis is a systemic disease that affects most vascular beds. The gold standard of atherosclerosis imaging has been invasive intravascular ultrasound (IVUS). Newer noninvasive imaging modalities like B-mode ultrasound, cardiac computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have been used to assess these vascular territories with high accuracy and reproducibility. These imaging modalities have lately been used for the assessment of the atherosclerotic plaque and the response of its volume to several medical therapies used in the treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease. To study the impact of these medications on atheroma volume progression or regression, imaging modalities have been used on a serial basis providing a unique opportunity to monitor the effect these antiatherosclerotic strategies exert on plaque burden. As a result, studies incorporating serial IVUS imaging, quantitative coronary angiography (QCA), B-mode ultrasound, electron beam computed tomography (EBCT), and dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging have all been used to evaluate the impact of therapeutic strategies that modify cholesterol and blood pressure on the progression/regression of atherosclerotic plaque. In this review, we intend to summarize the impact of different therapies aimed at halting the progression or even result in regression of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease evaluated by different imaging modalities. PMID:20672024

  6. Impact of Medical Therapy on Atheroma Volume Measured by Different Cardiovascular Imaging Modalities

    PubMed Central

    Sinno, Mohamad C. N.; Al-Mallah, Mouaz

    2010-01-01

    Atherosclerosis is a systemic disease that affects most vascular beds. The gold standard of atherosclerosis imaging has been invasive intravascular ultrasound (IVUS). Newer noninvasive imaging modalities like B-mode ultrasound, cardiac computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have been used to assess these vascular territories with high accuracy and reproducibility. These imaging modalities have lately been used for the assessment of the atherosclerotic plaque and the response of its volume to several medical therapies used in the treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease. To study the impact of these medications on atheroma volume progression or regression, imaging modalities have been used on a serial basis providing a unique opportunity to monitor the effect these antiatherosclerotic strategies exert on plaque burden. As a result, studies incorporating serial IVUS imaging, quantitative coronary angiography (QCA), B-mode ultrasound, electron beam computed tomography (EBCT), and dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging have all been used to evaluate the impact of therapeutic strategies that modify cholesterol and blood pressure on the progression/regression of atherosclerotic plaque. In this review, we intend to summarize the impact of different therapies aimed at halting the progression or even result in regression of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease evaluated by different imaging modalities. PMID:20672024

  7. Dendritic Cells Expressing Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid Cells-1 Correlate with Plaque Stability in Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Patients with Carotid Stenosis

    PubMed Central

    Shao, Zhifei; Agrawal, Devendra K.

    2016-01-01

    Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease with atherosclerotic plaques containing inflammatory cells, including T-lymphocytes, dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages that are responsible for progression and destabilization of atherosclerotic plaques. Stressed cells undergoing necrosis release molecules that act as endogenous danger signals to alert and activate innate immune cells. In atherosclerotic tissue the number of DCs increases with the progression of the lesion and produce several inflammatory cytokines and growth factors. Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells (TREM)-1 plays a crucial role in inflammation. However, relationship of DCs and the role of TREM-1 with the stability of atherosclerotic plaques have not been examined. In this study, we investigated the heterogeneity of the plaque DCs, myeloid (mDC1 and mDC2) and plasmacytoid (pDCs), and examined the expression of TREM-1 and their co-localization with DCs in the plaques from symptomatic (S) and asymptomatic (AS) patients with carotid stenosis. We found increased expression of HLA-DR, fascin, and TREM-1 and decreased expression of TREM-2 and α-smooth muscle actin in S compared to AS atherosclerotic carotid plaques. Both TREM-1 and fascin were co-localized suggesting increased expression of TREM-1 in plaque DCs of S compared to AS patients. These data were supported by increased mRNA transcripts of TREM-1 and decreased mRNA transcripts of TREM-2 in carotid plaques of S compared to AS patients. There was higher density of both CD1c+ mDC1 and CD141+ mDC2 in the carotid plaques from AS compared to S patients, where as the density of CD303+ pDCs were higher in the carotid plaques of S compared to AS patients. These findings suggest a potential role of pDCs and TREM-1 in atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability. Thus, newer therapies could be developed to selectively block TREM-1 for stabilizing atherosclerotic plaques. PMID:27148736

  8. Carotid Plaque Age Is a Feature of Plaque Stability Inversely Related to Levels of Plasma Insulin

    PubMed Central

    Hägg, Sara; Salehpour, Mehran; Noori, Peri; Lundström, Jesper; Possnert, Göran; Takolander, Rabbe; Konrad, Peter; Rosfors, Stefan; Ruusalepp, Arno; Skogsberg, Josefin; Tegnér, Jesper; Björkegren, Johan

    2011-01-01

    Background The stability of atherosclerotic plaques determines the risk for rupture, which may lead to thrombus formation and potentially severe clinical complications such as myocardial infarction and stroke. Although the rate of plaque formation may be important for plaque stability, this process is not well understood. We took advantage of the atmospheric 14C-declination curve (a result of the atomic bomb tests in the 1950s and 1960s) to determine the average biological age of carotid plaques. Methodology/Principal Finding The cores of carotid plaques were dissected from 29 well-characterized, symptomatic patients with carotid stenosis and analyzed for 14C content by accelerator mass spectrometry. The average plaque age (i.e. formation time) was 9.6±3.3 years. All but two plaques had formed within 5–15 years before surgery. Plaque age was not associated with the chronological ages of the patients but was inversely related to plasma insulin levels (p = 0.0014). Most plaques were echo-lucent rather than echo-rich (2.24±0.97, range 1–5). However, plaques in the lowest tercile of plaque age (most recently formed) were characterized by further instability with a higher content of lipids and macrophages (67.8±12.4 vs. 50.4±6.2, p = 0.00005; 57.6±26.1 vs. 39.8±25.7, p<0.0005, respectively), less collagen (45.3±6.1 vs. 51.1±9.8, p<0.05), and fewer smooth muscle cells (130±31 vs. 141±21, p<0.05) than plaques in the highest tercile. Microarray analysis of plaques in the lowest tercile also showed increased activity of genes involved in immune responses and oxidative phosphorylation. Conclusions/Significance Our results show, for the first time, that plaque age, as judge by relative incorporation of 14C, can improve our understanding of carotid plaque stability and therefore risk for clinical complications. Our results also suggest that levels of plasma insulin might be involved in determining carotid plaque age. PMID:21490968

  9. Quantification of Apoptosis in Mouse Atherosclerotic Lesions.

    PubMed

    Figg, Nichola L; Bennett, Martin R

    2015-01-01

    Apoptosis is a key process occurring in atherosclerosis, both in humans and in animal models. Apoptosis occurs in all cell types studied thus far, and thus lineage marking is often necessary. Apoptosis should be ascertained using a combination of morphological features and activation of specific pathways (e.g., terminal UTP nick end labeling-TUNEL). Both TUNEL and cryptic epitope antibodies (e.g., cleaved caspase 3) can be used, although they will often give different frequencies. Apoptotic frequency but not rate can be estimated from these methods, as we do not know the timing of apoptosis or how much of the process is marked by each method. We describe the morphological and immunohistochemical methods used in our laboratory to detect apoptotic cells in animal and human atherosclerotic plaques.

  10. The tolls and dangers of atherosclerotic disease.

    PubMed

    Monaco, Claudia

    2012-01-01

    Inflammation drives atherosclerosis. Toll-like receptor-2 and -4 are so far the strongest candidates for initiating innate immune signalling in atherosclerosis. Their signalling has implications for lesion development, foam cell formation, inflammation, matrix degradation and ischemia-reperfusion. The repertoire of TLR agonists is expanding. They collectively represent a conglomerate of structurally diverse molecular patterns requiring a high level of versatility in their sensing. Such versatility is achieved through cooperation of TLR heterodimers, co-receptors, and binding proteins. Several endogenous and exogenous molecular patterns engaging TLRs are associated with atherosclerosis development and complications. In this review, I describe how such molecular patterns are sensed, how they signal and what the consequences in the atherosclerotic plaque might be. The effect of TLR antagonising compounds in human and murine atherosclerosis is also addressed.

  11. MRI-based biomechanical parameters for carotid artery plaque vulnerability assessment.

    PubMed

    Speelman, Lambert; Teng, Zhongzhao; Nederveen, Aart J; van der Lugt, Aad; Gillard, Jonathan H

    2016-03-01

    Carotid atherosclerotic plaques are a major cause of ischaemic stroke. The biomechanical environment to which the arterial wall and plaque is subjected to plays an important role in the initiation, progression and rupture of carotid plaques. MRI is frequently used to characterize the morphology of a carotid plaque, but new developments in MRI enable more functional assessment of carotid plaques. In this review, MRI based biomechanical parameters are evaluated on their current status, clinical applicability, and future developments. Blood flow related biomechanical parameters, including endothelial wall shear stress and oscillatory shear index, have been shown to be related to plaque formation. Deriving these parameters directly from MRI flow measurements is feasible and has great potential for future carotid plaque development prediction. Blood pressure induced stresses in a plaque may exceed the tissue strength, potentially leading to plaque rupture. Multi-contrast MRI based stress calculations in combination with tissue strength assessment based on MRI inflammation imaging may provide a plaque stress-strength balance that can be used to assess the plaque rupture risk potential. Direct plaque strain analysis based on dynamic MRI is already able to identify local plaque displacement during the cardiac cycle. However, clinical evidence linking MRI strain to plaque vulnerability is still lacking. MRI based biomechanical parameters may lead to improved assessment of carotid plaque development and rupture risk. However, better MRI systems and faster sequences are required to improve the spatial and temporal resolution, as well as increase the image contrast and signal-to-noise ratio. PMID:26791734

  12. Characterization of atherosclerotic arterial tissue using combined SHG and FLIM microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cicchi, Riccardo; Baria, Enrico; Matthäus, Christian; Lange, Marta; Lattermann, Annika; Brehm, Bernhard R.; Popp, Jürgen; Pavone, Francesco S.

    2015-07-01

    Atherosclerosis is among the most widespread cardiovascular diseases and one of the leading cause of death in the Western World. Characterization of arterial tissue in atherosclerotic condition is extremely interesting from the diagnostic point of view, especially for what is concerning collagen content and organization because collagen plays a crucial role in plaque vulnerability. Routinely used diagnostic methods, such as histopathological examination, are limited to morphological analysis of the examined tissues, whereas an exhaustive characterization requires immunehistochemical examination and a morpho-functional approach. Non-linear microscopy techniques offer the potential for providing morpho-functional information on the examined tissues in a label-free way. In this study, we employed combined SHG and FLIM microscopy for characterizing collagen organization in both normal arterial wall and within atherosclerotic plaques. Image pattern analysis of SHG images allowed characterizing collagen organization in different tissue regions. In addition, the analysis of collagen fluorescence decay contributed to the characterization of the samples based on collagen fluorescence lifetime. Different values of collagen fiber mean size, collagen distribution, and collagen anisotropy and collagen fluorescence lifetime were found in normal arterial wall and within plaque depositions, prospectively allowing for automated classification of atherosclerotic lesions and plaque vulnerability. The presented method represents a promising diagnostic tool for evaluating atherosclerotic tissue and has the potential to find a stable place in clinical setting as well as to be applied in vivo in the near future.

  13. Non-linear imaging and characterization of atherosclerotic arterial tissue using combined SHG and FLIM microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cicchi, Riccardo; Matthäus, Christian; Meyer, Tobias; Lattermann, Annika; Dietzek, Benjamin; Brehm, Bernhard R.; Popp, Jürgen; Pavone, Francesco S.

    2015-03-01

    Atherosclerosis is among the most widespread cardiovascular diseases and one of the leading cause of death in the Western World. Characterization of arterial tissue in atherosclerotic condition is extremely interesting from the diagnostic point of view, especially for what is concerning collagen content and organization because collagen plays a crucial role in plaque vulnerability. Routinely used diagnostic methods, such as histopathological examination, are limited to morphological analysis of the examined tissues, whereas an exhaustive characterization requires immune-histochemical examination and a morpho-functional approach. Non-linear microscopy techniques offer the potential for providing morpho-functional information on the examined tissues in a label-free way. In this study, we employed combined SHG and FLIM microscopy for characterizing collagen organization in both normal arterial wall and within atherosclerotic plaques. Image pattern analysis of SHG images allowed characterizing collagen organization in different tissue regions. In addition, the analysis of collagen fluorescence decay contributed to the characterization of the samples on the basis of collagen fluorescence lifetime. Different values of collagen fiber mean size, collagen distribution, collagen anisotropy and collagen fluorescence lifetime were found in normal arterial wall and within plaque depositions, prospectively allowing for automated classification of atherosclerotic lesions and plaque vulnerability. The presented method represents a promising diagnostic tool for evaluating atherosclerotic tissue and has the potential to find a stable place in clinical setting as well as to be applied in vivo in the near future.

  14. Noninvasive diagnosis of ruptured peripheral atherosclerotic lesions and myocardial infarction by antibody profiling

    PubMed Central

    Cleutjens, Kitty B.J.M.; Faber, Birgit C.G.; Rousch, Mat; van Doorn, Ruben; Hackeng, Tilman M.; Vink, Cornelis; Geusens, Piet; ten Cate, Hugo; Waltenberger, Johannes; Tchaikovski, Vadim; Lobbes, Marc; Somers, Veerle; Sijbers, Anneke; Black, Darcey; Kitslaar, Peter J.E.H.M.; Daemen, Mat J.A.P.

    2008-01-01

    Novel biomarkers, such as circulating (auto)antibody signatures, may improve early detection and treatment of ruptured atherosclerotic lesions and accompanying cardiovascular events, such as myocardial infarction. Using a phage-display library derived from cDNAs preferentially expressed in ruptured peripheral human atherosclerotic plaques, we performed serological antigen selection to isolate displayed cDNA products specifically interacting with antibodies in sera from patients with proven ruptured peripheral atherosclerotic lesions. Two cDNA products were subsequently evaluated on a validation series of patients with peripheral atherosclerotic lesions, healthy controls, and patients with coronary artery disease at different stages. Our biomarker set was able to discriminate between patients with peripheral ruptured lesions and patients with peripheral stable plaques with 100% specificity and 76% sensitivity. Furthermore, 93% of patients with an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) tested positive for our biomarkers, whereas all patients with stable angina pectoris tested negative. Moreover, 90% of AMI patients who initially tested negative for troponin T, for which a positive result is known to indicate myocardial infarction, tested positive for our biomarkers upon hospital admission. In conclusion, antibody profiling constitutes a promising approach for noninvasive diagnosis of atherosclerotic lesions, because a positive serum response against a set of 2 cDNA products showed a strong association with the presence of ruptured peripheral atherosclerotic lesions and myocardial infarction. PMID:18654662

  15. The expanding indications for virtual histology intravascular ultrasound for plaque analysis prior to carotid stenting.

    PubMed

    Schiro, B J; Wholey, M H

    2008-12-01

    Complications of carotid artery stenting (CAS), including stroke, remain relatively high when compared with carotid endarterectomy (CEA). Current selection criteria for patients undergoing CAS are based predominately on surgical risk related to other comorbidities. Little attention is given to the morphology of the atherosclerotic plaque, although studies have shown that extensive variability exists which confers certain risks for plaque vulnerability. Virtual Histology intravascular ultrasound (VH IVUS) offers a unique method of assessing plaque morphology prior to CAS. Herein, the authors review the concepts of atherosclerotic plaque morphology and discuss the background of VH IVUS and illustrate its use in the carotid system. With selection of the appropriate patient and the appropriate plaque, more favorable outcomes of CAS may be achieved which will solidify its place as a frontline treatment of carotid vascular disease.

  16. Protein profile in vascular wall of atherosclerotic mice analyzed ex vivo using FT-IR spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wrobel, Tomasz P.; Majzner, Katarzyna; Baranska, Malgorzata

    2012-10-01

    The structure of proteins in a tissue can undergo changes on account of disease state such as diabetes or atherosclerosis. In this work the protein profile in atherosclerotic tissue is monitored by FT-IR imaging coupled with Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (HCA). Additionally, a model for prediction of secondary structure of proteins content based on amide I and II range is used to show the distribution of analyzed proteins. A new protein class emerged in atherosclerotic tissue in the region of the plaque and additionally the plaque was found to be strongly mixed with smooth muscle cell. The calculated secondary structure contents of proteins in atherosclerotic tissue in comparison to healthy tissue showed an increase of structures related to beta-sheet (E and T) and a decrease of helical (H) and unassigned arrangements.

  17. MR histology of advanced atherosclerotic lesions of ApoE- knockout mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naumova, A.; Yarnykh, V.; Ferguson, M.; Rosenfeld, M.; Yuan, C.

    2016-02-01

    The purposes of this study were to examine the feasibility of determining the composition of advanced atherosclerotic plaques in fixed ApoE-knockout mice and to develop a time-efficient microimaging protocol for MR histological imaging on mice. Five formalin-fixed transgenic ApoE-knockout mice were imaged at the 9.4T Bruker BioSpec MR scanner using 3D spoiled gradient-echo sequence with an isotropic field of view of 24 mm3; TR 20.8 ms; TE 2.6 ms; flip angle 20°, resulted voxel size 47 × 63 × 94 pm3. MRI examination has shown that advanced atherosclerotic lesions of aorta, innominate and carotid arteries in ApoE-knockout mice are characterized by high calcification and presence of the large fibrofatty nodules. MRI quantification of atherosclerotic lesion components corresponded to histological assessment of plaque composition with a correlation coefficient of 0.98.

  18. Serum cyclin-dependent kinase 9 is a potential biomarker of atherosclerotic inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Han, Yeming; Zhao, Shanshan; Gong, Yaoqin; Hou, Guihua

    2016-01-01

    Atherosclerotic coronary artery disease (CAD) is one of the most prevalent diseases worldwide. Atherosclerosis was considered to be the single most important contributor to CAD. In this study, a distinct serum protein expression pattern in CAD patients was demonstrated by proteomic analysis with two-dimensional gel electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry. In particular, CDK9 was found to be highly elevated in serum, monocytes and artery plaque samples of CAD patients. Furthermore, there was high infiltration of CD14+ monocytes/macrophages within artery plaques correlated with the expression of CDK9. Moreover, Flavopiridol (CDK9 inhibitor) could inhibit THP-1 cell (monocytic acute leukemia cell line) proliferation by targeting CDK9. Altogether, These findings indicate that CDK9 represent an important role for inflammation in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. It may be a potential biomarker of atherosclerotic inflammation and offer insights into the pathophysiology and targeted therapy for atherosclerotic CAD. PMID:26636538

  19. Interleukin 10-coated nanoparticle systems compared for molecular imaging of atherosclerotic lesions

    PubMed Central

    Almer, Gunter; Summers, Kelli L; Scheicher, Bernhard; Kellner, Josef; Stelzer, Ingeborg; Leitinger, Gerd; Gries, Anna; Prassl, Ruth; Zimmer, Andreas; Mangge, Harald

    2014-01-01

    Atherosclerosis (AS) is one of the leading causes of mortality in high-income countries. Early diagnosis of vulnerable atherosclerotic lesions is one of the biggest challenges currently facing cardiovascular medicine. The present study focuses on developing targeted nanoparticles (NPs) in order to improve the detection of vulnerable atherosclerotic-plaques. Various biomarkers involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerotic-plaques have been identified and one of these promising candidates for diagnostic targeting is interleukin 10 (IL10). IL10 has been shown to be a key anti-inflammatory responding cytokine in the early stages of atherogenesis, and has already been used for therapeutic interventions in humans and mice. IL10, the targeting sequence, was coupled to two different types of NPs: protamine-oligonucleotide NPs (proticles) and sterically stabilized liposomes in order to address the question of whether the recognition and detection of atherosclerotic-lesions is primarily determined by the targeting sequence itself, or whether it depends on the NP carrier system to which the biomarker is coupled. Each IL10-targeted NP was assessed based on its sensitivity and selectivity toward characterizing atherosclerotic-plaque lesions using an apolipoprotein E-deficient mouse as the model of atherosclerosis. Aortas from apolipoprotein E-deficient mice fed a high fat diet, were stained with either fluorescence-labeled IL10 or IL10-coupled NPs. Ex vivo imaging was performed using confocal laser-scanning microscopy. We found that IL10-targeted proticles generated a stronger signal by accumulating at the surface of atherosclerotic-plaques, while IL10-targeted, sterically stabilized liposomes showed a staining pattern deeper in the plaque compared to the fluorescence-labeled IL10 alone. Our results point to a promising route for enhanced in vivo imaging using IL10-targeted NPs. NPs allow a higher payload of signal emitting molecules to be delivered to the atherosclerotic-plaques

  20. [Atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis].

    PubMed

    Sauguet, A; Honton, B

    2014-12-01

    Atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis can cause ischaemic nephropathy and arterial hypertension. Renal artery stenosis (RAS) continues to be a problem for clinicians, with no clear consensus on how to investigate and assess the clinical significance of stenotic lesions and manage the findings. RAS caused by fibromuscular dysplasia is probably commoner than previously appreciated, should be actively looked for in younger hypertensive patients and can be managed successfully with angioplasty. Atheromatous RAS is associated with increased incidence of cardiovascular events and increased cardiovascular mortality, and is likely to be seen with increasing frequency. Many patients with RAS may be managed effectively with medical therapy for several years without endovascular stenting, as demonstrated by randomized, prospective trials including the cardiovascular outcomes in Renal Atherosclerotic Lesions (CORAL) trial, the Angioplasty and Stenting for Renal Artery Lesions (ASTRAL) trial. These trials share the limitation of excluding subsets of patients with high-risk clinical presentations, including episodic pulmonary edema and rapidly progressing renal failure and hypertension. Blood pressure control and medication adjustment may become more difficult with declining renal function and may prevent the use of angiotensin receptor blocker and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. The objective of this review is to evaluate the current management of RAS for cardiologists in the context of recent randomized clinical trials. There is now interest in looking more closely at patient selection for intervention, with focus on intervening only in patients with the highest-risk presentations such as flash pulmonary edema, rapidly declining renal function and severe resistant hypertension. PMID:25450992

  1. A focus on inflammation as a major risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases.

    PubMed

    Gregersen, Ida; Holm, Sverre; Dahl, Tuva B; Halvorsen, Bente; Aukrust, Pål

    2016-01-01

    Atherosclerosis is a dynamic, pathogenic process in the artery wall, with potential adverse outcome for the host. Acute events such as myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke often result from rupture of unstable atherosclerotic lesions. Understanding the underlying pathology of such lesions and why and when they rupture, is therefore of great interest for the development of new diagnostics and treatment. Inflammation is one of the key drivers of atherosclerotic plaque development and the interplay between inflammation and lipids constitutes the hallmark of atherosclerotic disease. This review summarizes the role of inflammation in atherosclerosis and presents some of the latest discoveries as well as unmet needs regarding the role of inflammation as major risk factor in atherosclerotic disease.

  2. Adventitial inflammation and its interaction with intimal atherosclerotic lesions

    PubMed Central

    Akhavanpoor, Mohammadreza; Wangler, Susanne; Gleissner, Christian A.; Korosoglou, Grigorios; Katus, Hugo A.; Erbel, Christian

    2014-01-01

    The presence of adventitial inflammation in correlation with atherosclerotic lesions has been recognized for decades. In the last years, several studies have investigated the relevance and impact of adventitial inflammation on atherogenesis. In the abdominal aorta of elderly Apoe−/− mice, adventitial inflammatory structures were characterized as organized ectopic lymphoid tissue, and therefore termed adventitial tertiary lymphoid organs (ATLOs). These ATLOs possess similarities in development, structure and function to secondary lymphoid organs. A crosstalk between intimal atherosclerotic lesions and ATLOs has been suggested, and several studies could demonstrate a potential role for medial vascular smooth muscle cells in this process. We here review the development, phenotypic characteristics, and function of ATLOs in atherosclerosis. Furthermore, we discuss the possible role of medial vascular smooth muscle cells and their interaction between plaque and ATLOs. PMID:25152736

  3. Nanoparticle uptake by macrophages in vulnerable plaques for atherosclerosis diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Melzer, Susanne; Ankri, Rinat; Fixler, Dror; Tarnok, Attila

    2015-11-01

    The composition of atherosclerotic (AS) plaques is crucial concerning rupture, thrombosis and clinical events. Two plaque types are distinguished: stable and vulnerable plaques. Vulnerable plaques are rich in inflammatory cells, mostly only M1 macrophages, and are highly susceptible to rupture. These plaques represent a high risk particularly with the standard invasive diagnosis by coronary angiography. So far there are no non-invasive low-risk clinical approaches available to detect and distinguish AS plaque types in vivo. The perspective review introduces a whole work-flow for a novel approach for non-invasive detection and classification of AS plaques using the diffusion reflection method with gold nanoparticle loaded macrophages in combination with flow and image cytometric analysis for quality assurance. Classical biophotonic methods for AS diagnosis are summarized. Phenotyping of monocytes and macrophages are discussed for specific subset labelling by nanomaterials, as well as existing studies and first experimental proofs of concept for the novel approach are shown. In vitro and in vivo detection of NP loaded macrophages (MΦ). Different ways of MΦ labelling include (1) in vitro labelling in suspension (whole blood or buffy coat) or (2) labelling of short-term MΦ cultures with re-injection of MΦ-NP into the animal to detect migration of the cells in the plaques and (3) in vivo injection of NP into the organism.

  4. Distinctive proteomic profiles among different regions of human carotid plaques in men and women

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Wenzhao; Ward, Liam J.; Karlsson, Helen; Ljunggren, Stefan A.; Li, Wei; Lindahl, Mats; Yuan, Xi-Ming

    2016-01-01

    The heterogeneity of atherosclerotic tissue has limited comprehension in proteomic and metabolomic analyses. To elucidate the functional implications, and differences between genders, of atherosclerotic lesion formation we investigated protein profiles from different regions of human carotid atherosclerotic arteries; internal control, fatty streak, plaque shoulder, plaque centre, and fibrous cap. Proteomic analysis was performed using 2-DE with MALDI-TOF, with validation using nLC-MS/MS. Protein mapping of 2-DE identified 52 unique proteins, including 15 previously unmapped proteins, of which 41 proteins were confirmed by nLC-MS/MS analysis. Expression levels of 18 proteins were significantly altered in plaque regions compared to the internal control region. Nine proteins showed site-specific alterations, irrespective of gender, with clear associations to extracellular matrix remodelling. Five proteins display gender-specific alterations with 2-DE, with two alterations validated by nLC-MS/MS. Gender differences in ferritin light chain and transthyretin were validated using both techniques. Validation of immunohistochemistry confirmed significantly higher levels of ferritin in plaques from male patients. Proteomic analysis of different plaque regions has reduced the effects of plaque heterogeneity, and significant differences in protein expression are determined in specific regions and between genders. These proteomes have functional implications in plaque progression and are of importance in understanding gender differences in atherosclerosis. PMID:27198765

  5. Prednisolone-containing liposomes accumulate in human atherosclerotic macrophages upon intravenous administration

    PubMed Central

    van der Valk, Fleur M.; van Wijk, Diederik F.; Lobatto, Mark E.; Verberne, Hein J.; Storm, Gert; Willems, Martine C.M.; Legemate, Dink A.; Nederveen, Aart J.; Calcagno, Claudia; Mani, Venkatesh; Ramachandran, Sarayu; Paridaans, Maarten P.M.; Otten, Maarten J.; Dallinga-Thie, Geesje M.; Fayad, Zahi A.; Nieuwdorp, Max; Schulte, Dominik M.; Metselaar, Josbert M.; Mulder, Willem J.M.; Stroes, Erik S.

    2015-01-01

    Drug delivery to atherosclerotic plaques via liposomal nanoparticles may improve therapeutic agents’ risk–benefit ratios. Our paper details the first clinical studies of a liposomal nanoparticle encapsulating prednisolone (LN-PLP) in atherosclerosis. First, PLP’s liposomal encapsulation improved its pharmacokinetic profile in humans (n = 13) as attested by an increased plasma half-life of 63 h (LN-PLP 1.5 mg/kg). Second, intravenously infused LN-PLP appeared in 75% of the macrophages isolated from iliofemoral plaques of patients (n = 14) referred for vascular surgery in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. LN-PLP treatment did however not reduce arterial wall permeability or inflammation in patients with atherosclerotic disease (n = 30), as assessed by multimodal imaging in a subsequent randomized, placebo-controlled study. In conclusion, we successfully delivered a long-circulating nanoparticle to atherosclerotic plaque macrophages in patients, whereas prednisolone accumulation in atherosclerotic lesions had no anti-inflammatory effect. Nonetheless, the present study provides guidance for development and imaging-assisted evaluation of future nanomedicine in atherosclerosis. PMID:25791806

  6. Distinct metabolic and vascular effects of dietary triglycerides and cholesterol in atherosclerotic and diabetic mouse models.

    PubMed

    Laplante, Marc-André; Charbonneau, Alexandre; Avramoglu, Rita Kohen; Pelletier, Patricia; Fang, Xiangping; Bachelard, Hélène; Ylä-Herttuala, Seppo; Laakso, Markku; Després, Jean-Pierre; Deshaies, Yves; Sweeney, Gary; Mathieu, Patrick; Marette, André

    2013-09-01

    Cholesterol and triglyceride-rich Western diets are typically associated with an increased occurrence of type 2 diabetes and vascular diseases. This study aimed to assess the relative impact of dietary cholesterol and triglycerides on glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, atherosclerotic plaque formation, and endothelial function. C57BL6 wild-type (C57) mice were compared with atherosclerotic LDLr(-/-) ApoB(100/100) (LRKOB100) and atherosclerotic/diabetic IGF-II × LDLr(-/-) ApoB(100/100) (LRKOB100/IGF) mice. Each group was fed either a standard chow diet, a 0.2% cholesterol diet, a high-fat diet (HFD), or a high-fat 0.2% cholesterol diet for 6 mo. The triglyceride-rich HFD increased body weight, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance but did not alter endothelial function or atherosclerotic plaque formation. Dietary cholesterol, however, increased plaque formation in LRKOB100 and LRKOB100/IGF animals and decreased endothelial function regardless of genotype. However, cholesterol was not associated with an increase of insulin resistance in LRKOB100 and LRKOB100/IGF mice and, unexpectedly, was even found to reduce the insulin-resistant effect of dietary triglycerides in these animals. Our data indicate that dietary triglycerides and cholesterol have distinct metabolic and vascular effects in obese atherogenic mouse models resulting in dissociation between the impairment of glucose homeostasis and the development of atherosclerosis.

  7. Plaquing procedure for infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burke, J.A.; Mulcahy, D.

    1980-01-01

    A single overlay plaque assay was designed and evaluated for infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus. Epithelioma papillosum carpio cells were grown in normal atmosphere with tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane- or HEPES (N-2-hydroxyethylpiperazine-N'-2-ethanesulfonic acid)-buffered media. Plaques were larger and formed more quickly on 1- to 3-day-old cell monolayers than on older monolayers. Cell culture medium with a 10% addition of fetal calf serum (MEM 10) or without serum (MEM 0) were the most efficient virus diluents. Dilution with phosphate-buffered saline, saline, normal broth, or deionized water reduced plaque numbers. Variations in the pH (7.0 to 8.0) of a MEM 0 diluent did not affect plaque numbers. Increasing the volume of viral inoculum above 0.15 ml (15- by 60-mm plate) decreased plaquing efficiency. Significantly more plaques occurred under gum tragacanth and methylcellulose than under agar or agarose overlays. Varying the pH (6.8 to 7.4) of methylcellulose overlays did not significantly change plaque numbers. More plaques formed under the thicker overlays of both methylcellulose and gum tragacanth. Tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane and HEPES performed equally well, buffering either medium or overlay. Plaque numbers were reduced when cells were rinsed after virus adsorption or less than 1 h was allowed for adsorption. Variation in adsorption time between 60 and 180 min did not change plaque numbers. The mean plaque formation time was 7 days at 16 degrees C. The viral dose response was linear when the standardized assay was used.

  8. Experimental determination of circumferential properties of fresh carotid artery plaques.

    PubMed

    Lawlor, Michael G; O'Donnell, Michael R; O'Connell, Barry M; Walsh, Michael T

    2011-06-01

    Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) is currently accepted as the gold standard for interventional revascularisation of diseased arteries belonging to the carotid bifurcation. Despite the proven efficacy of CEA, great interest has been generated in carotid angioplasty and stenting (CAS) as an alternative to open surgical therapy. CAS is less invasive compared with CEA, and has the potential to successfully treat lesions close to the aortic arch or distal internal carotid artery (ICA). Following promising results from two recent trials (CREST; Carotid revascularisation endarterectomy versus stenting trial, and ICSS; International carotid stenting study) it is envisaged that there will be a greater uptake in carotid stenting, especially amongst the group who do not qualify for open surgical repair, thus creating pressure to develop computational models that describe a multitude of plaque models in the carotid arteries and their reaction to the deployment of such interventional devices. Pertinent analyses will require fresh human atherosclerotic plaque material characteristics for different disease types. This study analysed atherosclerotic plaque characteristics from 18 patients tested on site, post-surgical revascularisation through endarterectomy, with 4 tissue samples being excluded from tensile testing based on large width-length ratios. According to their mechanical behaviour, atherosclerotic plaques were separated into 3 grades of stiffness. Individual and group material coefficients were then generated analytically using the Yeoh strain energy function. The ultimate tensile strength (UTS) of each sample was also recorded, showing large variation across the 14 atherosclerotic samples tested. Experimental Green strains at rupture varied from 0.299 to 0.588 and the Cauchy stress observed in the experiments was between 0.131 and 0.779 MPa. It is expected that this data may be used in future design optimisation of next generation interventional medical devices for the

  9. Multi-feature-based plaque characterization in ex vivo MRI trained by registration to 3D histology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Engelen, Arna; Niessen, Wiro J.; Klein, Stefan; Groen, Harald C.; Verhagen, Hence JM; Wentzel, Jolanda J.; van der Lugt, Aad; de Bruijne, Marleen

    2012-01-01

    We present a new method for automated characterization of atherosclerotic plaque composition in ex vivo MRI. It uses MRI intensities as well as four other types of features: smoothed, gradient magnitude and Laplacian images at several scales, and the distances to the lumen and outer vessel wall. The ground truth for fibrous, necrotic and calcified tissue was provided by histology and μCT in 12 carotid plaque specimens. Semi-automatic registration of a 3D stack of histological slices and μCT images to MRI allowed for 3D rotations and in-plane deformations of histology. By basing voxelwise classification on different combinations of features, we evaluated their relative importance. To establish whether training by 3D registration yields different results than training by 2D registration, we determined plaque composition using (1) a 2D slice-based registration approach for three manually selected MRI and histology slices per specimen, and (2) an approach that uses only the three corresponding MRI slices from the 3D-registered volumes. Voxelwise classification accuracy was best when all features were used (73.3 ± 6.3%) and was significantly better than when only original intensities and distance features were used (Friedman, p < 0.05). Although 2D registration or selection of three slices from the 3D set slightly decreased accuracy, these differences were non-significant.

  10. Parameter estimation of atherosclerotic tissue optical properties from three-dimensional intravascular optical coherence tomography

    PubMed Central

    Gargesha, Madhusudhana; Shalev, Ronny; Prabhu, David; Tanaka, Kentaro; Rollins, Andrew M.; Costa, Marco; Bezerra, Hiram G.; Wilson, David L.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract. We developed robust, three-dimensional methods, as opposed to traditional A-line analysis, for estimating the optical properties of calcified, fibrotic, and lipid atherosclerotic plaques from in vivo coronary artery intravascular optical coherence tomography clinical pullbacks. We estimated attenuation μt and backscattered intensity I0 from small volumes of interest annotated by experts in 35 pullbacks. Some results were as follows: noise reduction filtering was desirable, parallel line (PL) methods outperformed individual line methods, root mean square error was the best goodness-of-fit, and α-trimmed PL (α-T-PL) was the best overall method. Estimates of μt were calcified (3.84±0.95  mm−1), fibrotic (2.15±1.08  mm−1), and lipid (9.99±2.37  mm−1), similar to those in the literature, and tissue classification from optical properties alone was promising. PMID:26158087

  11. Three-Dimensional Carotid Plaque Progression Simulation Using Meshless Generalized Finite Difference Method Based on Multi-Year MRI Patient-Tracking Data.

    PubMed

    Yang, Chun; Tang, Dalin; Atluri, Satya

    2010-01-01

    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is becoming the number one cause of death worldwide. Atherosclerotic plaque rupture and progression are closely related to most severe cardiovascular syndromes such as heart attack and stroke. Mechanisms governing plaque rupture and progression are not well understood. A computational procedure based on three-dimensional meshless generalized finite difference (MGFD) method and serial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data was introduced to quantify patient-specific carotid atherosclerotic plaque growth functions and simulate plaque progression. Participating patients were scanned three times (T1, T2, and T3, at intervals of about 18 months) to obtain plaque progression data. Vessel wall thickness (WT) changes were used as the measure for plaque progression. Since there was insufficient data with the current technology to quantify individual plaque component growth, the whole plaque was assumed to be uniform, homogeneous, isotropic, linear, and nearly incompressible. The linear elastic model was used. The 3D plaque model was discretized and solved using a meshless generalized finite difference (GFD) method. Four growth functions with different combinations of wall thickness, stress, and neighboring point terms were introduced to predict future plaque growth based on previous time point data. Starting from the T2 plaque geometry, plaque progression was simulated by solving the solid model and adjusting wall thickness using plaque growth functions iteratively until T3 is reached. Numerically simulated plaque progression agreed very well with the target T3 plaque geometry with errors ranging from 11.56%, 6.39%, 8.24%, to 4.45%, given by the four growth functions. We believe this is the first time 3D plaque progression simulation based on multi-year patient-tracking data was reported. Serial MRI-based progression simulation adds time dimension to plaque vulnerability assessment and will improve prediction accuracy for potential plaque rupture

  12. Computational Hemodynamic Analysis for the Diagnosis of Atherosclerotic Changes in Intracranial Aneurysms: A Proof-of-Concept Study Using 3 Cases Harboring Atherosclerotic and Nonatherosclerotic Aneurysms Simultaneously

    PubMed Central

    Endo, Hidenori; Niizuma, Kuniyasu; Endo, Toshiki; Funamoto, Kenichi; Ohta, Makoto; Tominaga, Teiji

    2016-01-01

    This was a proof-of-concept computational fluid dynamics (CFD) study designed to identify atherosclerotic changes in intracranial aneurysms. We selected 3 patients with multiple unruptured aneurysms including at least one with atherosclerotic changes and investigated whether an image-based CFD study could provide useful information for discriminating the atherosclerotic aneurysms. Patient-specific geometries were constructed from three-dimensional data obtained using rotational angiography. Transient simulations were conducted under patient-specific inlet flow rates measured by phase-contrast magnetic resonance velocimetry. In the postanalyses, we calculated time-averaged wall shear stress (WSS), oscillatory shear index, and relative residence time (RRT). The volume of blood flow entering aneurysms through the neck and the mean velocity of blood flow inside aneurysms were examined. We applied the age-of-fluid method to quantitatively assess the residence of blood inside aneurysms. Atherosclerotic changes coincided with regions exposed to disturbed blood flow, as indicated by low WSS and long RRT. Blood entered aneurysms in phase with inlet flow rates. The mean velocities of blood inside atherosclerotic aneurysms were lower than those inside nonatherosclerotic aneurysms. Blood in atherosclerotic aneurysms was older than that in nonatherosclerotic aneurysms, especially near the wall. This proof-of-concept study demonstrated that CFD analysis provided detailed information on the exchange and residence of blood that is useful for the diagnosis of atherosclerotic changes in intracranial aneurysms. PMID:27703491

  13. Circulating CD36 and fractalkine levels are associated with vulnerable plaque progression in patients with unstable angina pectoris.

    PubMed

    Li, Rui Jian; Yang, Ming; Li, Ji Fu; Xue, Li; Chen, Yu Guo; Chen, Wen Qiang

    2014-11-01

    The chemokine, fractalkine, independently enhances the vulnerability of coronary atherosclerotic plaques. The present study investigated the combined effects of CD36 and fractalkine on coronary plaque progression in patients with unstable angina pectoris. In the present study, 120 unstable angina pectoris patients undergoing coronary angiography and intravascular ultrasound were divided into two groups: an intermediate lesion group (lumen diameter stenosis 50-70%, 80 patients) and a severe lesion group (at least one lesion with lumen diameter stenosis > 70%, 40 patients). The control group consisted of 40 healthy age- and sex-matched subjects. Concentrations of CD36 and fractalkine were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Major adverse cardiovascular events were monitored over a 2-year follow up. Intravascular ultrasound showed that patients with severe lesions had more calcified and mixed plaques, and a larger plaque area and plaque burden than patients with intermediate lesions (P < 0.05-0.01). More patients with severe lesions underwent stent deployment (P < 0.05) than those with intermediate lesions. CD36 and fractalkine concentrations were significantly higher in the severe lesion patients (P < 0.05), and both had significant positive correlations (P < 0.05) with the plaque burden of atherosclerotic lesions. Using the matched nested case-control study, we found that CD36 and fractalkine levels were higher in patients with recurrent major adverse cardiovascular events than controls (P < 0.05). In conclusion, CD36 and fractalkine both promote, and might synergistically enhance, the progression of coronary atherosclerotic plaques.

  14. Coronary plaque progression of non-culprit lesions after culprit percutaneous coronary intervention in patients with moderate to advanced chronic kidney disease: intravascular ultrasound and integrated backscatter intravascular ultrasound study.

    PubMed

    Kashiyama, Kuninobu; Sonoda, Shinjo; Muraoka, Yoshitaka; Suzuki, Yoshiyuki; Kamezaki, Fumihiko; Tsuda, Yuki; Araki, Masaru; Tamura, Masahito; Takeuchi, Masaaki; Abe, Haruhiko; Okazaki, Masahiro; Fujino, Yoshihisa; Otsuji, Yutaka

    2015-06-01

    Previous studies have suggested that the deterioration of renal function increases the risk of major adverse clinical events not only in culprit lesions but also in non-culprit lesions (NCLs) after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). This study evaluated serial coronary plaque change of NCL in patients with different stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) using intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and integrated backscatter IVUS (IB-IVUS). In 113 patients (113 NCLs) underwent both IVUS-guided PCI and follow-up IVUS, volumetric IVUS analyses were performed at proximal reference NCLs in de novo target vessels post PCI and at 8-month follow-up. NCLs were divided into 4 groups based on baseline CKD stage: CKD-1, n = 18; CKD-2, n = 42; CKD-3, n = 29; and CKD4-5, n = 24. We compared serial changes of plaque burden and composition among groups under statin treatment. Plaque progression occurred in CKD-3 (+4.6 mm(3), p < 0.001) and CKD4-5 (+9.8 mm(3), p < 0.001) despite anti-atherosclerotic treatment, whereas plaque regression occurred in CKD-1 (-5.4 mm(3), p = 0.002) and CKD-2 (-3.2 mm(3), p = 0.001) mainly due to initiate statin treatment after PCI. Plaque volume change was correlated with eGFR (p < 0.0001). Multivariate analysis showed CKD stage 3-5 was an independent predictor of plaque progression. Regarding IB-IVUS analyses, lipid plaque increased in CKD-3 (+4.6 mm(3), p < 0.001) and CKD4-5 (+5.4 mm(3), p < 0.001), but decreased in CKD-2 (-2.7 mm(3), p < 0.05). Fibrotic plaque also increased in CKD4-5 (+3.4 mm(3), p < 0.001). Moderate to advanced CKD was associated with coronary plaque progression characterized by greater lipid and fibrotic plaque volumes in NCL under statin treatment after culprit PCI. PMID:25724567

  15. Inflammation and plaque vulnerability

    PubMed Central

    Hansson, G. K.; Libby, P.; Tabas, I.

    2016-01-01

    Atherosclerosis is a maladaptive, nonresolving chronic inflammatory disease that occurs at sites of blood flow disturbance. The disease usually remains silent until a breakdown of integrity at the arterial surface triggers the formation of a thrombus. By occluding the lumen, the thrombus or emboli detaching from it elicits ischaemic symptoms that may be life-threatening. Two types of surface damage can cause atherothrombosis: plaque rupture and endothelial erosion. Plaque rupture is thought to be caused by loss of mechanical stability, often due to reduced tensile strength of the collagen cap surrounding the plaque. Therefore, plaques with reduced collagen content are thought to be more vulnerable than those with a thick collagen cap. Endothelial erosion, on the other hand, may occur after injurious insults to the endothelium instigated by metabolic disturbance or immune insults. This review discusses the molecular mechanisms involved in plaque vulnerability and the development of atherothrombosis. PMID:26260307

  16. In vivo Raman spectral pathology of human atherosclerosis and vulnerable plaque

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Motz, Jason T.; Fitzmaurice, Maryann; Miller, Arnold; Gandhi, Saumil J.; Haka, Abigail S.; Galindo, Luis; Dasari, Ramachandra R.; Kramer, John R., Jr.; Feld, Michael S.

    2006-03-01

    The rupture of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque accounts for the majority of clinically significant acute cardiovascular events. Because stability of these culprit lesions is directly related to chemical and morphological composition, Raman spectroscopy may be a useful technique for their study. Recent developments in optical fiber probe technology have allowed for the real-time in vivo Raman spectroscopic characterization of human atherosclerotic plaque demonstrated in this work. We spectroscopically examine 74 sites during carotid endarterectomy and femoral artery bypass surgeries. Of these, 34 are surgically biopsied and examined histologically. Excellent signal-to-noise ratio spectra are obtained in only 1 s and fit with an established model, demonstrating accurate tissue characterization. We also report the first evidence that Raman spectroscopy has the potential to identify vulnerable plaque, achieving a sensitivity and specificity of 79 and 85%, respectively. These initial findings indicate that Raman spectroscopy has the potential to be a clinically relevant diagnostic tool for studying cardiovascular disease.

  17. Endothelial microparticles as conveyors of information in atherosclerotic disease.

    PubMed

    Schiro, A; Wilkinson, F L; Weston, R; Smyth, J V; Serracino-Inglott, F; Alexander, M Y

    2014-06-01

    Endothelial microparticles (EMPs) are complex submicron membrane-shed vesicles released into the circulation following endothelium cell activation or apoptosis. They are classified as either physiological or pathological, with anticoagulant or pro-inflammatory effects respectively. Endothelial dysfunction caused by inflammation is a key initiating event in atherosclerotic plaque formation. Athero-emboli, resulting from ruptured carotid plaques are a major cause of stroke. Current clinical techniques for arterial assessment, angiography and carotid ultrasound, give accurate information about stenosis but limited evidence on plaque composition, inflammation or vulnerability; as a result, patients with asymptomatic, or fragile carotid lesions, may not be identified and treated effectively. There is a need to discover novel biomarkers and develop more efficient diagnostic approaches in order to stratify patients at most risk of stroke, who would benefit from interventional surgery. Increasing evidence suggests that EMPs play an important role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease, acting as a marker of damage, either exacerbating disease progression or triggering a repair response. In this regard, it has been suggested that EMPs have the potential to act as biomarkers of disease status. In this review, we will present the evidence to support this hypothesis and propose a novel concept for the development of a diagnostic device that could be implemented in the clinic. PMID:24721189

  18. A Review of Intravascular Ultrasound–Based Multimodal Intravascular Imaging: The Synergistic Approach to Characterizing Vulnerable Plaques

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Teng; Zhou, Bill; Hsiai, Tzung K.; Shung, K. Kirk

    2015-01-01

    Catheter-based intravascular imaging modalities are being developed to visualize pathologies in coronary arteries, such as high-risk vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques known as thin-cap fibroatheroma, to guide therapeutic strategy at preventing heart attacks. Mounting evidences have shown three distinctive histopathological features—the presence of a thin fibrous cap, a lipid-rich necrotic core, and numerous infiltrating macrophages—are key markers of increased vulnerability in atherosclerotic plaques. To visualize these changes, the majority of catheter-based imaging modalities used intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) as the technical foundation and integrated emerging intravascular imaging techniques to enhance the characterization of vulnerable plaques. However, no current imaging technology is the unequivocal “gold standard” for the diagnosis of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques. Each intravascular imaging technology possesses its own unique features that yield valuable information although encumbered by inherent limitations not seen in other modalities. In this context, the aim of this review is to discuss current scientific innovations, technical challenges, and prospective strategies in the development of IVUS-based multi-modality intravascular imaging systems aimed at assessing atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability. PMID:26400676

  19. Laser capture microdissection for analysis of macrophage gene expression from atherosclerotic lesions.

    PubMed

    Feig, Jonathan E; Fisher, Edward A

    2013-01-01

    Coronary artery disease, resulting from atherosclerosis, is the leading cause of death in the Western world. Most previous studies have subjected atherosclerotic arteries, a tissue of mixed cellular composition, to homogenization in order to identify the factors in plaque development, thereby obscuring information relevant to specific cell types. Because macrophage foam cells are critical mediators in atherosclerotic plaque advancement, we reasoned that performing gene analysis on those cells would provide specific insight in novel regulatory factors and potential therapeutic targets. We demonstrated for the first time in vascular biology that foam cell-specific RNA can be isolated by laser capture microdissection (LCM) of plaques. As expected, compared to whole tissue, a significant enrichment in foam cell-specific RNA transcripts was observed. Furthermore, because regression of atherosclerosis is a tantalizing clinical goal, we developed and reported a transplantation-based mouse model. This involved allowing plaques to form in apoE-/- mice and then changing the plaque's plasma environment from hyperlipidemia to normolipidemia. Under those conditions, rapid regression ensued in a process involving emigration of plaque foam cells to regional and systemic lymph nodes. Using LCM, we were able to show that under regression conditions, there was decreased expression in foam cells of inflammatory genes, but an up-regulation of cholesterol efflux genes. Interestingly, we also found that increased expression of chemokine receptor CCR7, a known factor in dendritic cell migration, was required for regression. In conclusion, the LCM methods described in this chapter, which have already lead to a number of striking findings, will likely further facilitate the study of cell type-specific gene expression in animal and human plaques during various stages of atherosclerosis, and after genetic, pharmacologic, and environmental perturbations.

  20. Atherosclerotic neovasculature MR imaging with mixed manganese-gadolinium nanocolloids in hyperlipidemic rabbits.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kezheng; Pan, Dipanjan; Schmieder, Anne H; Senpan, Angana; Caruthers, Shelton D; Cui, Grace; Allen, John S; Zhang, Huiying; Shen, Baozhong; Lanza, Gregory M

    2015-04-01

    A high r1 relaxivity manganese-gadolinium nanocolloid (αvβ3-MnOL-Gd NC) was developed and effectively detected atherosclerotic angiogenesis in rabbits fed cholesterol-rich diets for 12 months using a clinical MRI scanner (3T). 3D mapping of neovasculature signal intensity revealed the spatial coherence and intensity of plaque angiogenic expansion, which may, with other high risk MR bioindicators, help identify high-risk patients with moderate (40% to 60%) vascular stenosis. Microscopy confirmed the predominant media and plaque distribution of fluorescent αvβ3-MnOL-Gd NC, mirroring the MR data. An expected close spatial association of αvβ3-integrin neovasculature and macrophages was noted, particularly within plaque shoulder regions. Manganese oleate bioelimination occurred via the biliary system into feces. Gd-DOTA was eliminated through the bile-fecal and renal excretion routes. αvβ3-MnOL-Gd NC offers an effective vehicle for T1w neovascular imaging in atherosclerosis. From the clinical editor: Cerebrovascular accidents are a leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. The acute formation of thrombus following atherosclerotic plaque rupture has been well recognized as the etiology of stroke. The authors studied microanatomical features of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque in this article, in an attempt to identify those with high risk of rupture. Gadolinium-manganese hybrid nanocolloid (MnOL-Gd NC) was developed as a novel contrast agent for MRI. They show that this agent is effective in providing neovascular imaging.

  1. Microwave radiometry: a new non-invasive method for the detection of vulnerable plaque

    PubMed Central

    Synetos, Andreas; Nikolaou, Charalampia; Stathogiannis, Konstantinos; Tsiamis, Eleftherios; Stefanadis, Christodoulos

    2012-01-01

    Atherosclerosis and its consequences are the most rapidly growing vascular pathology, with myocardial infarction and ischemic cerebrovascular accident to remain a major cause of premature morbidity and death. In order to detect the morphological and functional characteristics of the vulnerable plaques, new imaging modalities have been developed. Intravascular thermography (IVT) is an invasive method, which provides information on the identification of the high-risk atheromatic plaques in coronary arteries. However, the invasive character of IVT excludes the method from primary prevention. Microwave radiometry (MR) is a new non-invasive method, which detects with high accuracy relative changes of temperature in human tissues whereas this thermal heterogeneity is indicative of inflammatory atherosclerotic plaque. Both experimental and clinical studies have proved the effectiveness of MR in detecting vulnerable plaque whereas recent studies have also revealed its association with plaque neoangiogenesis as assessed by contrast enhanced carotid ultrasound (CEUS). PMID:24282729

  2. Imaging of oxidation-specific epitopes with targeted nanoparticles to detect high-risk atherosclerotic lesions: progress and future directions.

    PubMed

    Briley-Saebo, Karen; Yeang, Calvin; Witztum, Joseph L; Tsimikas, Sotirios

    2014-11-01

    Oxidation-specific epitopes (OSE) within developing atherosclerotic lesions are key antigens that drive innate and adaptive immune responses in atherosclerosis, leading to chronic inflammation. Oxidized phospholipids and malondialdehyde-lysine epitopes are well-characterized OSE present in human atherosclerotic lesions, particularly in pathologically defined vulnerable plaques. Using murine and human OSE-specific antibodies as targeting agents, we have developed radionuclide and magnetic resonance based nanoparticles, containing gadolinium, manganese or lipid-coated ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide, to non-invasively image OSE within experimental atherosclerotic lesions. These methods quantitate plaque burden, allow detection of lesion progression and regression, plaque stabilization, and accumulation of OSE within macrophage-rich areas of the artery wall, suggesting they detect the most active lesions. Future studies will focus on using "natural" antibodies, lipopeptides, and mimotopes for imaging applications. These approaches should enhance the clinical translation of this technique to image, monitor, evaluate efficacy of novel therapeutic agents, and guide optimal therapy of high-risk atherosclerotic lesions. PMID:25297940

  3. [Correlation between autophagy and polarization of macrophages in atherosclerosis plaque in arteriosclerosis obliterans amputees].

    PubMed

    Chen, Wen-na; Guo, Sheng-nan; Wang, Jun-yan; Jia, Lian-qun; Li, Da-yong; Tian, Ying

    2016-01-01

    This study was designed to investigate the correlation between autophagy and polarization of macrophages in atherosclerosis (AS) plaque in arteriosclerosis obliterans amputees. Femoral artery specimens from arteriosclerosis obliterans amputees were performed hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining, oil red O and immunofluorescence staining to observe the morphology of atherosclerotic plaque, phenotype of macrophages and autophagy in plaque; using real-time quantitative RT-PCR technology to detect the mRNA level of M1 and M2 type markers in arterial tissue; to analyze polarized signal pathway and autophagy protein levels in macrophages by Western blotting. Arterial specimens staining showed obvious lipid deposition and obvious infiltration of amount of foam cells and inflammatory cells. Macrophages were mainly expression M1 type in percentage in fibrous plaque. Although both M1 and M2 macrophages were upregulated in atheromatous plaque, the increase was dominant in M2 type in percentage. The level of autophagy was significantly higher in the atheromatous plaque than that of fibrous plaque. The expression of tumor necrosis factor- α (TNF-α), monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-12 (IL-12) mRNA was significantly higher in fibrous plaque than that of atheromatous plaque (P < 0.01 or 0.05), and arginase-1 (Arg-1), transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), CD163 and interleukin-10 (IL-10) mRNA was significantly lower than that in atheromatous plaque (P < 0.01). The levels of p-STAT1 and NF-κB were significantly increased in fibrous plaque (P < 0.01), while p-STAT6 expression was significantly increased in atheromatous plaque (P < 0.01). The level of LC3-II was significantly higher in atheromatous plaque than that in fibrous plaque (P < 0.01). Macrophages in early atherosclerotic plaque were induced to M1 type through p-STAT1/NF-κB pathway and expressed moderate levels of autophagy; while

  4. [Correlation between autophagy and polarization of macrophages in atherosclerosis plaque in arteriosclerosis obliterans amputees].

    PubMed

    Chen, Wen-na; Guo, Sheng-nan; Wang, Jun-yan; Jia, Lian-qun; Li, Da-yong; Tian, Ying

    2016-01-01

    This study was designed to investigate the correlation between autophagy and polarization of macrophages in atherosclerosis (AS) plaque in arteriosclerosis obliterans amputees. Femoral artery specimens from arteriosclerosis obliterans amputees were performed hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining, oil red O and immunofluorescence staining to observe the morphology of atherosclerotic plaque, phenotype of macrophages and autophagy in plaque; using real-time quantitative RT-PCR technology to detect the mRNA level of M1 and M2 type markers in arterial tissue; to analyze polarized signal pathway and autophagy protein levels in macrophages by Western blotting. Arterial specimens staining showed obvious lipid deposition and obvious infiltration of amount of foam cells and inflammatory cells. Macrophages were mainly expression M1 type in percentage in fibrous plaque. Although both M1 and M2 macrophages were upregulated in atheromatous plaque, the increase was dominant in M2 type in percentage. The level of autophagy was significantly higher in the atheromatous plaque than that of fibrous plaque. The expression of tumor necrosis factor- α (TNF-α), monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-12 (IL-12) mRNA was significantly higher in fibrous plaque than that of atheromatous plaque (P < 0.01 or 0.05), and arginase-1 (Arg-1), transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), CD163 and interleukin-10 (IL-10) mRNA was significantly lower than that in atheromatous plaque (P < 0.01). The levels of p-STAT1 and NF-κB were significantly increased in fibrous plaque (P < 0.01), while p-STAT6 expression was significantly increased in atheromatous plaque (P < 0.01). The level of LC3-II was significantly higher in atheromatous plaque than that in fibrous plaque (P < 0.01). Macrophages in early atherosclerotic plaque were induced to M1 type through p-STAT1/NF-κB pathway and expressed moderate levels of autophagy; while

  5. A finite element study of balloon expandable stent for plaque and arterial wall vulnerability assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karimi, Alireza; Navidbakhsh, Mahdi; Razaghi, Reza

    2014-07-01

    The stresses induced within plaque tissues and arterial layers during stent expansion inside an atherosclerotic artery can be exceeded from the yield stresses of those tissues and, consequently, lead to plaque or arterial layer rupture. The distribution and magnitude of the stresses in each component involved in stenting might be clearly different for different plaque types and different arterial layers. In this study, a nonlinear finite element simulation was employed to investigate the effect of plaque composition (calcified, cellular, and hypocellular) on the stresses induced in the arterial layers (intima, media, and adventitia) during implantation of a balloon expandable coronary stent into a stenosed artery. The atherosclerotic artery was assumed to consist of a plaque and normal/healthy arterial tissues on its outer side. The results indicated a significant influence of plaque types on the maximum stresses induced within the plaque wall and arterial layers during stenting but not when computing maximum stress on the stent. The stress on the stiffest calcified plaque wall was in the fracture level (2.38 MPa), whereas cellular and hypocellular plaques remain stable owing to less stress on their walls. Regardless of plaque types, the highest von Mises stresses were observed on the stiffest intima layer, whereas the lowest stresses were seen to be located in less stiff media layer. The computed stresses on the intima layer were found to be high enough to initiate a rupture in this stiff layer. These findings suggest a higher risk of arterial vascular injury for the intima layer, while a lower risk of arterial injury for the media and adventitia layers.

  6. Use of Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound in Carotid Atherosclerotic Disease: Limits and Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Varetto, Gianfranco; Gibello, Lorenzo; Castagno, Claudio; Quaglino, Simone; Ripepi, Matteo; Benintende, Emilio; Gattuso, Andrea; Garneri, Paolo; Zan, Stefano; Capaldi, Giacomo; Bertoldo, Ugo; Rispoli, Pietro

    2015-01-01

    Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) has recently become one of the most versatile and powerful diagnostic tools in vascular surgery. One of the most interesting fields of application of this technique is the study of the carotid atherosclerotic plaque vascularization and its correlation with neurological symptoms (transient ischemic attack, minor stroke, and major stroke) and with the characteristics of the “vulnerable plaque” (surface ulceration, hypoechoic plaques, intraplaque hemorrhage, thinner fibrous cap, and carotid plaque neovascularization at histopathological analysis of the sample after surgical removal). The purpose of this review is to collect all the original studies available in literature (24 studies with 1356 patients enrolled) and to discuss the state of the art, limits, and future perspectives of CEUS analysis. The results of this work confirm the reliability of this imaging study for the detection of plaques with high risk of embolization; however, a shared, user-friendly protocol of imaging analysis is not available yet. The definition of this operative protocol becomes mandatory in order to compare results from different centers and to validate a cerebrovascular risk stratification of the carotid atherosclerotic lesions evaluated with CEUS. PMID:26180793

  7. HDL-mimetic PLGA nanoparticle to target atherosclerosis plaque macrophages.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Gaytan, Brenda L; Fay, Francois; Lobatto, Mark E; Tang, Jun; Ouimet, Mireille; Kim, YongTae; van der Staay, Susanne E M; van Rijs, Sarian M; Priem, Bram; Zhang, Liangfang; Fisher, Edward A; Moore, Kathryn J; Langer, Robert; Fayad, Zahi A; Mulder, Willem J M

    2015-03-18

    High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is a natural nanoparticle that exhibits an intrinsic affinity for atherosclerotic plaque macrophages. Its natural targeting capability as well as the option to incorporate lipophilic payloads, e.g., imaging or therapeutic components, in both the hydrophobic core and the phospholipid corona make the HDL platform an attractive nanocarrier. To realize controlled release properties, we developed a hybrid polymer/HDL nanoparticle composed of a lipid/apolipoprotein coating that encapsulates a poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) core. This novel HDL-like nanoparticle (PLGA-HDL) displayed natural HDL characteristics, including preferential uptake by macrophages and a good cholesterol efflux capacity, combined with a typical PLGA nanoparticle slow release profile. In vivo studies carried out with an ApoE knockout mouse model of atherosclerosis showed clear accumulation of PLGA-HDL nanoparticles in atherosclerotic plaques, which colocalized with plaque macrophages. This biomimetic platform integrates the targeting capacity of HDL biomimetic nanoparticles with the characteristic versatility of PLGA-based nanocarriers.

  8. Corneal mucus plaques.

    PubMed

    Fraunfelder, F T; Wright, P; Tripathi, R C

    1977-02-01

    Corneal mucus plaques adhered to the anterior corneal surface in 17 of 67 advanced cases of keratoconjunctivitis sicca. The plaques were translucent to opaque and varied in size and shape, from multiple isolated islands to bizarre patterns involving more than half the corneal surface. Ultrastructurally, they consisted of mucus mixed with desquamated degenerating epithelial cells and proteinaceous and lipoidal material. The condition may be symptomatic but can be controlled and prevented in most cases by topical ocular application of 10% acetylcysteine.

  9. Error propagation in the characterization of atheromatic plaque types based on imaging.

    PubMed

    Athanasiou, Lambros S; Rigas, George; Sakellarios, Antonis; Bourantas, Christos V; Stefanou, Kostas; Fotiou, Evangelos; Exarchos, Themis P; Siogkas, Panagiotis; Naka, Katerina K; Parodi, Oberdan; Vozzi, Federico; Teng, Zhongzhao; Young, Victoria E L; Gillard, Jonathan H; Prati, Francesco; Michalis, Lampros K; Fotiadis, Dimitrios I

    2015-10-01

    Imaging systems transmit and acquire signals and are subject to errors including: error sources, signal variations or possible calibration errors. These errors are included in all imaging systems for atherosclerosis and are propagated to methodologies implemented for the segmentation and characterization of atherosclerotic plaque. In this paper, we present a study for the propagation of imaging errors and image segmentation errors in plaque characterization methods applied to 2D vascular images. More specifically, the maximum error that can be propagated to the plaque characterization results is estimated, assuming worst-case scenarios. The proposed error propagation methodology is validated using methods applied to real datasets, obtained from intravascular imaging (IVUS) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) for coronary arteries, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for carotid arteries. The plaque characterization methods have recently been presented in the literature and are able to detect the vessel borders, and characterize the atherosclerotic plaque types. Although, these methods have been extensively validated using as gold standard expert annotations, by applying the proposed error propagation methodology a more realistic validation is performed taking into account the effect of the border detection algorithms error and the image formation error into the final results. The Pearson's coefficient of the detected plaques has changed significantly when the method was applied to IVUS and OCT, while there was not any variation when the method was applied to MRI data.

  10. Grating interferometry-based phase microtomography of atherosclerotic human arteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buscema, Marzia; Holme, Margaret N.; Deyhle, Hans; Schulz, Georg; Schmitz, Rüdiger; Thalmann, Peter; Hieber, Simone E.; Chicherova, Natalia; Cattin, Philippe C.; Beckmann, Felix; Herzen, Julia; Weitkamp, Timm; Saxer, Till; Müller, Bert

    2014-09-01

    Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death and morbidity in the world. Understanding disease development in terms of lumen morphology and tissue composition of constricted arteries is essential to improve treatment and patient outcome. X-ray tomography provides non-destructive three-dimensional data with micrometer-resolution. However, a common problem is simultaneous visualization of soft and hard tissue-containing specimens, such as atherosclerotic human coronary arteries. Unlike absorption based techniques, where X-ray absorption strongly depends on atomic number and tissue density, phase contrast methods such as grating interferometry have significant advantages as the phase shift is only a linear function of the atomic number. We demonstrate that grating interferometry-based phase tomography is a powerful method to three-dimensionally visualize a variety of anatomical features in atherosclerotic human coronary arteries, including plaque, muscle, fat, and connective tissue. Three formalin-fixed, human coronary arteries were measured using advanced laboratory μCT. While this technique gives information about plaque morphology, it is impossible to extract the lumen morphology. Therefore, selected regions were measured using grating based phase tomography, sinograms were treated with a wavelet-Fourier filter to remove ring artifacts, and reconstructed data were processed to allow extraction of vessel lumen morphology. Phase tomography data in combination with conventional laboratory μCT data of the same specimen shows potential, through use of a joint histogram, to identify more tissue types than either technique alone. Such phase tomography data was also rigidly registered to subsequently decalcified arteries that were histologically sectioned, although the quality of registration was insufficient for joint histogram analysis.

  11. Evaluation of texture parameters for the quantitative description of multimodal nonlinear optical images from atherosclerotic rabbit arteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mostaço-Guidolin, Leila B.; C-T Ko, Alex; Popescu, Dan P.; Smith, Michael S. D.; Kohlenberg, Elicia K.; Shiomi, Masashi; Major, Arkady; Sowa, Michael G.

    2011-08-01

    The composition and structure of atherosclerotic lesions can be directly related to the risk they pose to the patient. Multimodal nonlinear optical (NLO) microscopy provides a powerful means to visualize the major extracellular components of the plaque that critically determine its structure. Textural features extracted from NLO images were investigated for their utility in providing quantitative descriptors of structural and compositional changes associated with plaque development. Ten texture parameters derived from the image histogram and gray level co-occurrence matrix were examined that highlight specific structural and compositional motifs that distinguish early and late stage plaques. Tonal-texture parameters could be linked to key histological features that characterize vulnerable plaque: the thickness and density of the fibrous cap, size of the atheroma, and the level of inflammation indicated through lipid deposition. Tonal and texture parameters from NLO images provide objective metrics that correspond to structural and biochemical changes that occur within the vessel wall in early and late stage atherosclerosis.

  12. In vivo multiphoton imaging reveals gradual growth of newborn amyloid plaques over weeks.

    PubMed

    Burgold, Steffen; Bittner, Tobias; Dorostkar, Mario M; Kieser, Daniel; Fuhrmann, Martin; Mitteregger, Gerda; Kretzschmar, Hans; Schmidt, Boris; Herms, Jochen

    2011-03-01

    The kinetics of amyloid plaque formation and growth as one of the characteristic hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are fundamental issues in AD research. Especially the question how fast amyloid plaques grow to their final size after they are born remains controversial. By long-term two-photon in vivo imaging we monitored individual methoxy-X04-stained amyloid plaques over 6 weeks in 12 and 18 months old Tg2576 mice. We found that in 12 months old mice, newly appearing amyloid plaques were initially small in volume and subsequently grew over time. The growth rate of plaques was inversely proportional to their volume; thus amyloid plaques that were already present at the first imaging time point grew over time but slower compared to new plaques. Additionally, we analyzed 18 months old Tg2576 mice in which we neither found newly appearing plaques nor a significant growth of pre-existing plaques over 6 weeks of imaging. In conclusion, newly appearing amyloid plaques are initially small in size but grow over time until plaque growth can not be detected anymore in aged mice. These results suggest that drugs that target plaque formation should be most effective early in the disease, when plaques are growing.

  13. Image-Based Modeling and Precision Medicine: Patient-Specific Carotid and Coronary Plaque Assessment and Predictions

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Chun; Zheng, Jie; Canton, Gador; Bach, Richard; Hatsukami, Thomas S.; Wang, Liang; Yang, Deshan; Billiar, Kristen L.; Yuan, Chun

    2013-01-01

    Atherosclerotic plaques may rupture without warning and cause acute cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. Current clinical screening tools are insufficient to identify those patients with risks early and prevent the adverse events from happening. Medical imaging and image-based modeling have made considerable progress in recent years in identifying plaque morphological and mechanical risk factors which may be used in developing improved patient screening strategies. The key steps and factors in image-based models for human carotid and coronary plaques were illustrated, as well as grand challenges facing the researchers in the field to develop more accurate screening tools. PMID:23362245

  14. Gold nanoparticles based imaging technique and drug delivery for the detection and treatment of atherosclerotic vascular disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ankri, Rinat; Leshem-Lev, Dorit; Lev, Eli I.; Motiei, Menachem; Hochhauser, Edith; Fixler, Dror

    2016-03-01

    In our study we aim to develop a new, simple and non-invasive method to detect and to treat atherosclerosis. We use gold nanoparticles (GNPs) combined with the diffusion reflection (DR) method to demonstrate the detection of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques. Our method is based on the fact that macrophages are a major component in the vulnerable plaque and are able to uptake metal nanoparticles that can be discovered by the DR system. Moreover, it is well known that high density lipoprotein (HDL) reduces ASVD by inhibiting pro-inflammatory factors, enabling the specific treatment of atherosclerosis.

  15. Quantification of plaque stiffness by Brillouin microscopy in experimental thin cap fibroatheroma.

    PubMed

    Antonacci, Giuseppe; Pedrigi, Ryan M; Kondiboyina, Avinash; Mehta, Vikram V; de Silva, Ranil; Paterson, Carl; Krams, Rob; Török, Peter

    2015-11-01

    Plaques vulnerable to rupture are characterized by a thin and stiff fibrous cap overlaying a soft lipid-rich necrotic core. The ability to measure local plaque stiffness directly to quantify plaque stress and predict rupture potential would be very attractive, but no current technology does so. This study seeks to validate the use of Brillouin microscopy to measure the Brillouin frequency shift, which is related to stiffness, within vulnerable plaques. The left carotid artery of an ApoE(-/-)mouse was instrumented with a cuff that induced vulnerable plaque development in nine weeks. Adjacent histological sections from the instrumented and control arteries were stained for either lipids or collagen content, or imaged with confocal Brillouin microscopy. Mean Brillouin frequency shift was 15.79 ± 0.09 GHz in the plaque compared with 16.24 ± 0.15 (p < 0.002) and 17.16 ± 0.56 GHz (p < 0.002) in the media of the diseased and control vessel sections, respectively. In addition, frequency shift exhibited a strong inverse correlation with lipid area of -0.67 ± 0.06 (p < 0.01) and strong direct correlation with collagen area of 0.71 ± 0.15 (p < 0.05). This is the first study, to the best of our knowledge, to apply Brillouin spectroscopy to quantify atherosclerotic plaque stiffness, which motivates combining this technology with intravascular imaging to improve detection of vulnerable plaques in patients.

  16. Recanalization Results After Intracranial Stenting of Atherosclerotic Stenoses

    SciTech Connect

    Blasel, Stella Yuekzek, Zeynep; Kurre, Wiebke; Berkefeld, Joachim; Neumann-Haefelin, Tobias; Hattingen, Elke; Mesnil de Rochemont, Richard du

    2010-10-15

    The purpose of this investigation was to provide a detailed description of the angiographic results after stenting of high-grade intracranial stenosis using balloon-expandable stents. Forty consecutive patients with symptomatic atherosclerotic intracranial stenosis >50% received endovascular treatment by placement of balloon-expandable stents using the concept of slight underdilation and strict avoidance of overdilation. Intra-arterial digital subtraction angiography images before and after stenting in the same projection were reviewed for pre- and post-therapeutic measurement of the degree of stenosis and evaluation of morphologic criteria like plaque coverage, stent apposition, patency of side branches, and signs of dissection or vasospasm. Stenting decreased the mean percentage stenosis from 76.2 (WASID criteria) to 20.8%. Residual stenosis ranged from 0 to 55% with residual stenosis >50% in two of 40 cases. Technical success rate was 95%. There were no major vessel complications, but minor abnormalities like incomplete stent apposition (8/40) or plaque coverage (7/40), incomplete filling of side branches (13/40), and minor dissections after stenting (2/40) were seen. One case with incomplete stent apposition and two cases with side branch compromise were associated with clinical symptoms. In conclusion, intracranial stenting with slight underdilation avoided major vessel complication and created reliable luminal gain. Suboptimal recanalization results were frequently detected and may be the source of neurological complications in individual cases.

  17. Modeling plaque fissuring and dissection during balloon angioplasty intervention.

    PubMed

    Gasser, T Christian; Holzapfel, Gerhard A

    2007-05-01

    Balloon angioplasty intervention is traumatic to arterial tissue. Fracture mechanisms such as plaque fissuring and/or dissection occur and constitute major contributions to the lumen enlargement. However, these types of mechanically-based traumatization of arterial tissue are also contributing factors to both acute procedural complications and chronic restenosis of the treatment site. We propose physical and finite element models, which are generally useable to trace fissuring and/or dissection in atherosclerotic plaques during balloon angioplasty interventions. The arterial wall is described as an anisotropic, heterogeneous, highly deformable, nearly incompressible body, whereas tissue failure is captured by a strong discontinuity kinematics and a novel cohesive zone model. The numerical implementation is based on the partition of unity finite element method and the interface element method. The later is used to link together meshes of the different tissue components. The balloon angioplasty-based failure mechanisms are numerically studied in 3D by means of an atherosclerotic-prone human external iliac artery, with a type V lesion. Image-based 3D geometry is generated and tissue-specific material properties are considered. Numerical results show that in a primary phase the plaque fissures at both shoulders of the fibrous cap and stops at the lamina elastica interna. In a secondary phase, local dissections between the intima and the media develop at the fibrous cap location with the smallest thickness. The predicted results indicate that plaque fissuring and dissection cause localized mechanical trauma, but prevent the main portion of the stenosis from high stress, and hence from continuous tissue damage.

  18. Loss of ADAMTS4 reduces high fat diet-induced atherosclerosis and enhances plaque stability in ApoE(-/-) mice.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Saran; Chen, Mo; Li, Yan; Wong, Fiona H S; Thiam, Chung Wee; Hossain, Md Zakir; Poh, Kian Keong; Hirohata, Satoshi; Ogawa, Hiroko; Angeli, Véronique; Ge, Ruowen

    2016-01-01

    Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by formation of lipid-rich plaques on the inner walls of arteries. ADAMTS4 (a disintegrin-like and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs-4) is a secreted proteinase that regulates versican turnover in the arterial wall and atherosclerotic plaques. Recent reports indicated elevated ADAMTS4 level in human atherosclerotic plaques and in the plasma of acute coronary syndrome patients. Nevertheless, whether increased ADAMTS4 is a consequence of atherosclerosis or ADAMTS4 has a causal role in atherogenesis remains unknown. In this work, we investigated the role of ADAMTS4 in diet induced atherosclerosis using apolipoprotein E deficient (ApoE(-/-)) and Adamts4 knockout mice. We show that ADAMTS4 expression increases in plaques as atherosclerosis progresses in ApoE(-/-) mice. ApoE(-/-)Adamts4(-/-) double knockout mice presented a significant reduction in plaque burden at 18 weeks of age. Loss of ADAMTS4 lead to a more stable plaque phenotype with a significantly reduced plaque vulnerability index characterized by reduced lipid content and macrophages accompanied with a significant increase in smooth muscle cells, collagen deposition and fibrotic cap thickness. The reduced atherosclerosis is accompanied by an altered plasma inflammatory cytokine profile. These results demonstrate for the first time that ADAMTS4 contributes to diet induced atherosclerosis in ApoE(-/-) mice. PMID:27491335

  19. Photoabalation in dental hard substances and atheromatous plaques - The efficiency and selectivity criteria for surgery

    SciTech Connect

    Jean, B.

    1995-12-31

    The basic principals of IR photoabalation are relatively easy to understand as long as water is the predominant absorber in the target tissue (e.g. brain tissue, cornea). Dental hard substances are typical target materials for the study of biological materials with low water content (30%) Its main constituent is hydroxyapatit (50%) with maximal absorption at 9.5 {mu}m wavelength. The photoablation efficiency, the collateral thermal damage and the resultant formation of thermally induced surface cracks were investigated. Unlike the 2.95 {mu}m of the Er:YAG, already in use, the 9.5 {mu}m radiation minimizes the penetration depth; as a consequence, the volume of heated material per pulse is minimal too and thus thermal cracks - a potential source of caries are avoided. Furthermore at 9.5 {mu}m, the ablation threshold requires a minimal fluence; this is an element of selectivity, limiting photoablation to dentin and enamel, while neighboring gingiva cannot be ablated accidentally. Removal of atherosclerotic plaques for recanalization of obliterated cardiac vessels (laser angioplasty) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure of highest socioeconomic relevance. The rather inhomogeneous composition of apatit and colesterol (both absorbing at 9.5 {mu}m) make plaques a particularly complex target material; while the ablation efficiency has to be high, the related shock wave should be minimal. The {open_quote}selectivity{close_quote} criterion of the ablation process must avoid accidental perforation of the underlying vessel walls (composed of connective tissue with high water content), a deadly complication! Experimental results with FELIX will be demonstrated. Photoacoustic spectroscopy in a recently developed non contact mode has been proved to provide various informations (on line) about the IR-photoablation process.

  20. Thermal compression and molding of atherosclerotic vascular tissue with use of radiofrequency energy: implications for radiofrequency balloon angioplasty.

    PubMed

    Lee, B I; Becker, G J; Waller, B F; Barry, K J; Connolly, R J; Kaplan, J; Shapiro, A R; Nardella, P C

    1989-04-01

    The combined delivery of pressure and thermal energy may effectively remodel intraluminal atherosclerotic plaque and fuse intimal tears. To test these hypotheses with use of a non-laser thermal energy source, radiofrequency energy was delivered to postmortem human atherosclerotic vessels from a metal "hot-tip" catheter, block-mounted bipolar electrodes and from a prototype radiofrequency balloon catheter. Sixty-two radiofrequency doses delivered from a metal electrode tip produced dose-dependent ablation of atherosclerotic plaque, ranging from clean and shallow craters with histologic evidence of thermal compression at doses less than 40 J to tissue charring and vaporization at higher (greater than 80 J) doses. Lesion dimensions ranged between 3.14 and 3.79 mm in diameter and 0.20 and 0.47 mm in depth. Tissue perforation was not observed. To test the potential for radiofrequency fusion of intimal tears, 5 atm of pressure and 200 J radiofrequency energy were delivered from block-mounted bipolar electrodes to 48 segments of human atherosclerotic aorta, which had been manually separated into intima-media and media-adventitial layers. Significantly stronger tissue fusion resulted (28.5 +/- 3.3 g) with radiofrequency compared with that with pressure alone (4.8 +/- 0.26 g; p less than 0.0001). A prototype radiofrequency balloon catheter was used to deliver 3 atm of balloon pressure with or without 200 J radiofrequency energy to 20 postmortem human atherosclerotic arterial segments. In 10 of 10 radiofrequency-treated vessels, thermal "molding" of both normal and atherosclerotic vessel wall segments resulted with increased luminal diameter and histologic evidence of medial myocyte damage.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  1. Thermal compression and molding of atherosclerotic vascular tissue with use of radiofrequency energy: implications for radiofrequency balloon angioplasty

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, B.I.; Becker, G.J.; Waller, B.F.; Barry, K.J.; Connolly, R.J.; Kaplan, J.; Shapiro, A.R.; Nardella, P.C.

    1989-04-01

    The combined delivery of pressure and thermal energy may effectively remodel intraluminal atherosclerotic plaque and fuse intimal tears. To test these hypotheses with use of a non-laser thermal energy source, radiofrequency energy was delivered to postmortem human atherosclerotic vessels from a metal hot-tip catheter, block-mounted bipolar electrodes and from a prototype radiofrequency balloon catheter. Sixty-two radiofrequency doses delivered from a metal electrode tip produced dose-dependent ablation of atherosclerotic plaque, ranging from clean and shallow craters with histologic evidence of thermal compression at doses less than 40 J to tissue charring and vaporization at higher (greater than 80 J) doses. Lesion dimensions ranged between 3.14 and 3.79 mm in diameter and 0.20 and 0.47 mm in depth. Tissue perforation was not observed. To test the potential for radiofrequency fusion of intimal tears, 5 atm of pressure and 200 J radiofrequency energy were delivered from block-mounted bipolar electrodes to 48 segments of human atherosclerotic aorta, which had been manually separated into intima-media and media-adventitial layers. Significantly stronger tissue fusion resulted (28.5 +/- 3.3 g) with radiofrequency compared with that with pressure alone (4.8 +/- 0.26 g; p less than 0.0001). A prototype radiofrequency balloon catheter was used to deliver 3 atm of balloon pressure with or without 200 J radiofrequency energy to 20 postmortem human atherosclerotic arterial segments. In 10 of 10 radiofrequency-treated vessels, thermal molding of both normal and atherosclerotic vessel wall segments resulted with increased luminal diameter and histologic evidence of medial myocyte damage.

  2. Short-term evaluation of plaque area measurement reproducibility from computer-assisted sonography.

    PubMed

    Massonneau, M; Caillard, P; de Chassey, L; Mouren, X; Thébault, B; Cloarec, M

    1995-05-01

    One reason why quantifying plaque regression is difficult is the poor spatial control of the shooting angle whether in angiography or ultrasonography techniques. A computer-assisted technique has been developed to assess absolute carotid plaque dimensions from B-mode ultrasonography, with enhanced capability of comparative examinations at large time intervals. Plaque area is measured from arterial lumen to adventitia with a real-time tissular detection program. Further measurements on the same patient are made using an echo-specific mask automatically generated by the computer from the original section. For an average sonographer, the manipulation takes no more than ten minutes for each view. In order to determine the reproducibility of this technique, a repeated measurement study (T0, T1, T2) was carried out on 8 patients with moderate to severe atherosclerotic lesions at carotid localizations. The plaque areas ranged from 52.7 to 202.3 mm2 (120.7 +/- 61). The coefficients of correlation between the measurements (T0-T1, T0-T2) were respectively 0.93 and 0.96 (P < 0.0001). The mean coefficient of variation (+/- SD) was 9.8% +/- 4.8. This study shows the feasibility of an accurate follow-up for atherosclerotic patients, with a two-dimensional plaque quantification, closer to the reality of the evolution of the pathology than the usual scoring system.

  3. Aetiology of pleural plaques

    PubMed Central

    Rous, V.; Studeny, J.

    1970-01-01

    Pleural plaques were found in 644 (6·6%) of 9,760 photofluorograms taken in 1965 in a region of Pelhřimov district; the incidence was highest in the age group 66-70 years. The advanced age of those affected may be explained by the greater frequency of the causative agent in the past. The disorder was known in Pelhřimov district as early as 1930; it was then thought to be posttuberculous. The past history of the cases was uninformative; as a rule, the only common previous disease was pleurisy with effusion, occurring in 9·7%. The general condition of those affected was excellent; only 8% were aware of the fact that pleural lesions were present. The disorder was found mainly in farmers, familial incidence was common, and if two generations of one family suffered from the condition, the older generation was affected in 100%. Pleural plaques consist morphologically of limited areas of hyalinized collagenous connective tissue with calcium salt deposits. Tubercle bacilli could not be cultivated from the lesions. Mineralological analysis showed no evidence of silicates in the pleural plaques and a normal content in the lungs. The aetiological factor responsible for the development of pleural plaques in Pelhřimov district is not known, but asbestos cannot be implicated. The unknown noxious agent is carried to the pleura by the lymph and blood stream. Pleural plaques are an endemic disorder. The traditional view that lesions are post-tuberculous appears, in the region submitted to this study, to be a possible explanation. Images PMID:5465601

  4. Characterization of lipid-rich plaques using spectroscopic optical coherence tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nam, Hyeong Soo; Song, Joon Woo; Jang, Sun-Joo; Lee, Jae Joong; Oh, Wang-Yuhl; Kim, Jin Won; Yoo, Hongki

    2016-07-01

    Intravascular optical coherence tomography (IV-OCT) is a high-resolution imaging method used to visualize the internal structures of walls of coronary arteries in vivo. However, accurate characterization of atherosclerotic plaques with gray-scale IV-OCT images is often limited by various intrinsic artifacts. In this study, we present an algorithm for characterizing lipid-rich plaques with a spectroscopic OCT technique based on a Gaussian center of mass (GCOM) metric. The GCOM metric, which reflects the absorbance properties of lipids, was validated using a lipid phantom. In addition, the proposed characterization method was successfully demonstrated in vivo using an atherosclerotic rabbit model and was found to have a sensitivity and specificity of 94.3% and 76.7% for lipid classification, respectively.

  5. Detection of high-risk atherosclerotic lesions by time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy based on the Laguerre deconvolution technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jo, J. A.; Fang, Q.; Papaioannou, T.; Qiao, J. H.; Fishbein, M. C.; Beseth, B.; Dorafshar, A. H.; Reil, T.; Baker, D.; Freischlag, J.; Marcu, L.

    2006-02-01

    This study introduces new methods of time-resolved laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy (TR-LIFS) data analysis for tissue characterization. These analytical methods were applied for the detection of atherosclerotic vulnerable plaques. Upon pulsed nitrogen laser (337 nm, 1 ns) excitation, TR-LIFS measurements were obtained from carotid atherosclerotic plaque specimens (57 endarteroctomy patients) at 492 distinct areas. The emission was both spectrally- (360-600 nm range at 5 nm interval) and temporally- (0.3 ns resolution) resolved using a prototype clinically compatible fiber-optic catheter TR-LIFS apparatus. The TR-LIFS measurements were subsequently analyzed using a standard multiexponential deconvolution and a recently introduced Laguerre deconvolution technique. Based on their histopathology, the lesions were classified as early (thin intima), fibrotic (collagen-rich intima), and high-risk (thin cap over necrotic core and/or inflamed intima). Stepwise linear discriminant analysis (SLDA) was applied for lesion classification. Normalized spectral intensity values and Laguerre expansion coefficients (LEC) at discrete emission wavelengths (390, 450, 500 and 550 nm) were used as features for classification. The Laguerre based SLDA classifier provided discrimination of high-risk lesions with high sensitivity (SE>81%) and specificity (SP>95%). Based on these findings, we believe that TR-LIFS information derived from the Laguerre expansion coefficients can provide a valuable additional dimension for the diagnosis of high-risk vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques.

  6. [Atherosclerotic renal artery disease diagnosis update].

    PubMed

    Meier, Pascal; Haesler, Erik; Teta, Daniel; Qanadli, Salah Dine; Burnier, Michel

    2009-02-01

    Atherosclerotic renal artery disease represents a cause of which little is known but not a cause to be neglected for hypertension and renal insufficiency. Even though its occurrence remains badly defined, atherosclerotic renal artery disease is constantly on the rise due to the aging population, the never prevailing hypertension and diabetes mellitus. This review aims to give a clinical profile of patients presenting with atherosclerotic renal artery disease and to discuss, in the light of study results, which diagnostic evaluation should be used considering the sequence and the benefit and risk of each in order to initiate a personalized treatment. Patients affected by atherosclerotic renal artery disease are likely to have more complications and more extensive target-organ damage than patients without renal artery stenosis. The evolution of the atherosclerotic renal artery disease is in general slow and progressive. Nevertheless, certain clinical cases manifest themselves with the onset of acute renal failure bought upon by the administration of blockers of the rennin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, or by some other causes responsible for a sudden drop in renal plasma flow (e.g., thrombosis of the renal artery). The relationship between atherosclerotic renal artery disease and atherosclerosis is complex, and mediators implicated in the pathophysiology of renovascular disease may also contribute to the progression of cardiovascular damage. An early assumption of the atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis is warranted to determine the adapted treatment (i.e., medical treatment, revascularisation...) just as the assumption and the correction of the more general cardiovascular risk factors. PMID:18809367

  7. Carotid Atherosclerotic Disease Predicts Cardiovascular Events in Hemodialysis Patients: A Prospective Study

    PubMed Central

    Nicolau, Carlos; Pons, Mercedes; Cruzado, Josep M

    2015-01-01

    Background To evaluate the predictive value of carotid atherosclerotic disease (CAD) and intima-media thickness (IMT) on incident cardiovascular disease and mortality in hemodialysis patients. Methods Multicenter, observational, prospective study including 110 patients, followed-up to 6 years. Carotid doppler ultrasonographic findings were classified in 4 degrees of severity: 1) IMT <0.9 mm, 2) IMT >0.9 mm, 3) carotid plaque with stenosis <50% and 4) plaque with stenosis >50%. The associations between IMT and CAD and cardiovascular events, total and cardiovascular mortality were assessed. Results 83% of the patients had atherosclerotic plaques (CAD degrees 3-4). During follow-up, 29.1% of patients experienced cardiovascular events, and 28.2% died, 38.7% of cardiovascular origin. The presence of plaques was associated with cardiovascular events (p = 0.03) while calcified plaques were associated with both cardiovascular events (p = 0.01), cardiovascular mortality (p = 0.03) and non-significantly with overall mortality (p = 0.08) in the survival analysis. Carotid IMT was not associated with outcomes. Cardiovascular events correlated with CAD severity (HR 2.27, 95% CI 1.13-4.54), age (HR 1.04, 1.01-1.06), previous cardiovascular disease (HR 1.75, 1.05-4.42), dyslipidemia (HR 2.25, 1.11-4.53), lipoprotein (a) (HR 1.01, 1.00-1.02), troponin I (HR 3.89, 1.07-14.18), fibrinogen levels (HR 1.38, 0.98-1.94) and antiplatelet therapy (HR 2.14, 1.04-4.4). In an age-adjusted multivariate model, cardiovascular events were independently associated with previous coronary artery disease (HR 3.29, 1.52-7.15) and lipoprotein (a) (HR 1.01, 1.00-1.02). Conclusions The presence of carotid plaques and, especially, calcified plaques, are predictors of new cardiovascular events and cardiovascular mortality in hemodialysis patients, while IMT was not. The prognostic value of calcified plaques should be confirmed in future studies. PMID:26029907

  8. Approach to atherosclerotic renovascular disease: 2016

    PubMed Central

    Daloul, Reem; Morrison, Aubrey R.

    2016-01-01

    The management of atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis in patients with hypertension or impaired renal function remains a clinical dilemma. The current general consensus, supported by the results of the Angioplasty and Stenting for Renal Atherosclerotic Lesions and Cardiovascular Outcomes for Renal Artery Lesions trials, argues strongly against endovascular intervention in favor of optimal medical management. We discuss the limitations and implications of the contemporary clinical trials and present our approach and formulate clear recommendations to help with the management of patients with atherosclerotic narrowing of the renal artery. PMID:27679718

  9. Approach to atherosclerotic renovascular disease: 2016

    PubMed Central

    Daloul, Reem; Morrison, Aubrey R.

    2016-01-01

    The management of atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis in patients with hypertension or impaired renal function remains a clinical dilemma. The current general consensus, supported by the results of the Angioplasty and Stenting for Renal Atherosclerotic Lesions and Cardiovascular Outcomes for Renal Artery Lesions trials, argues strongly against endovascular intervention in favor of optimal medical management. We discuss the limitations and implications of the contemporary clinical trials and present our approach and formulate clear recommendations to help with the management of patients with atherosclerotic narrowing of the renal artery.

  10. Approach to atherosclerotic renovascular disease: 2016.

    PubMed

    Daloul, Reem; Morrison, Aubrey R

    2016-10-01

    The management of atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis in patients with hypertension or impaired renal function remains a clinical dilemma. The current general consensus, supported by the results of the Angioplasty and Stenting for Renal Atherosclerotic Lesions and Cardiovascular Outcomes for Renal Artery Lesions trials, argues strongly against endovascular intervention in favor of optimal medical management. We discuss the limitations and implications of the contemporary clinical trials and present our approach and formulate clear recommendations to help with the management of patients with atherosclerotic narrowing of the renal artery. PMID:27679718

  11. Shear wave elastography plaque characterization with mechanical testing validation: a phantom study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Widman, E.; Maksuti, E.; Larsson, D.; Urban, M. W.; Bjällmark, A.; Larsson, M.

    2015-04-01

    Determining plaque vulnerability is critical when selecting the most suitable treatment for patients with atherosclerotic plaque. Currently, clinical non-invasive ultrasound-based methods for plaque characterization are limited to visual assessment of plaque morphology and new quantitative methods are needed. In this study, shear wave elastography (SWE) was used to characterize hard and soft plaque mimicking inclusions in six common carotid artery phantoms by using phase velocity analysis in static and dynamic environments. The results were validated with mechanical tensile testing. In the static environment, SWE measured a mean shear modulus of 5.8  ±  0.3 kPa and 106.2  ±  17.2 kPa versus 3.3  ±  0.5 kPa and 98.3  ±  3.4 kPa measured by mechanical testing in the soft and hard plaques respectively. Furthermore, it was possible to measure the plaques’ shear moduli throughout a simulated cardiac cycle. The results show good agreement between SWE and mechanical testing and indicate the possibility for in vivo arterial plaque characterization using SWE.

  12. Chinese Herbal Cardiotonic Pill Stabilizes Vulnerable Plaques in Rabbits by Decreasing the Expression of Adhesion Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Liang; Li, Xiaonan; Li, Changjiang; Rong, Yuanyuan; Xiao, Yawei; Xu, Xinsheng; Yao, Guihua; Jiang, Guihua

    2016-01-01

    Abstract: The cardiotonic pill (CP), consisting of a mixture of Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae, Radix Notoginseng, and Borneolum Syntheticum, has been widely used in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Adhesion molecules, including intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, are involved in the development of vulnerable plaque. We investigated the effect of the CP in a rabbit model of vulnerable plaque established by local transfection with p53 gene. Compared with the control group, rabbits with vulnerable plaque showed a significantly lower intima-media thickness and plaque burden after CP treatment for 12 weeks. Moreover, the reduction in rate of plaque rupture and vulnerability index was similar. On enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, real-time polymerase chain reaction, and immunohistochemistry analysis, the expression of intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 was inhibited with CP treatment. CP treatment could postpone atherosclerotic plaque development and stabilize vulnerable plaque by inhibiting the expression of adhesion molecules in treatment of cardiovascular disease. PMID:27110743

  13. Selective ablation of atherosclerotic lesions with less thermal damage by controlling the pulse structure of a quantum cascade laser in the 5.7-µm wavelength range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hashimura, Keisuke; Ishii, Katsunori; Awazu, Kunio

    2016-04-01

    Cholesteryl esters are the main components of atherosclerotic plaques, and they have an absorption peak at the wavelength of 5.75 µm. To realize less-invasive ablation of the atherosclerotic plaques using a quasi-continuous wave (quasi-CW) quantum cascade laser (QCL), the thermal effects on normal vessels must be reduced. In this study, we attempted to reduce the thermal effects by controlling the pulse structure. The irradiation effects on rabbit atherosclerotic aortas using macro pulse irradiation (irradiation of pulses at intervals) and conventional quasi-CW irradiation were compared. The macro pulse width and the macro pulse interval were determined based on the thermal relaxation time of atherosclerotic and normal aortas in the oscillation wavelength of the QCL. The ablation depth increased and the coagulation width decreased using macro pulse irradiation. Moreover, difference in ablation depth between the atherosclerotic and normal rabbit aortas using macro pulse irradiation was confirmed. Therefore, the QCL in the 5.7-µm wavelength range with controlling the pulse structure was effective for less-invasive laser angioplasty.

  14. La pelade par plaques

    PubMed Central

    Spano, Frank; Donovan, Jeff C.

    2015-01-01

    Résumé Objectif Présenter aux médecins de famille des renseignements de base pour faire comprendre l’épidémiologie, la pathogenèse, l’histologie et l’approche clinique au diagnostic de la pelade par plaques. Sources des données Une recension a été effectuée dans PubMed pour trouver des articles pertinents concernant la pathogenèse, le diagnostic et le pronostic de la pelade par plaques. Message principal La pelade par plaques est une forme de perte pileuse auto-immune dont la prévalence durant une vie est d’environ 2 %. Des antécédents personnels ou familiaux de troubles auto-immuns concomitants, comme le vitiligo ou une maladie de la thyroïde, peuvent être observés dans un petit sous-groupe de patients. Le diagnostic peut souvent être posé de manière clinique en se fondant sur la perte de cheveux non cicatricielle et circulaire caractéristique, accompagnée de cheveux en « point d’exclamation » en périphérie chez ceux dont le problème en est aux premiers stades. Le diagnostic des cas plus complexes ou des présentations inhabituelles peut être facilité par une biopsie et un examen histologique. Le pronostic varie largement et de mauvais résultats sont associés à une apparition à un âge précoce, une perte importante, la variante ophiasis, des changements aux ongles, des antécédents familiaux ou des troubles auto-immuns concomitants. Conclusion La pelade par plaques est une forme auto-immune de perte de cheveux périodiquement observée en soins primaires. Les médecins de famille sont bien placés pour identifier la pelade par plaques, déterminer la gravité de la maladie et poser le diagnostic différentiel approprié. De plus, ils sont en mesure de renseigner leurs patients à propos de l’évolution clinique de la maladie ainsi que du pronostic général selon le sous-type de patients.

  15. La pelade par plaques

    PubMed Central

    Spano, Frank; Donovan, Jeff C.

    2015-01-01

    Résumé Objectif Présenter aux médecins de famille des renseignements de base pour faire comprendre les schémas thérapeutiques et les résultats des traitements pour la pelade par plaques, de même que les aider à identifier les patients pour qui une demande de consultation en dermatologie pourrait s’imposer. Sources des données Une recension a été effectuée dans PubMed pour trouver des articles pertinents concernant le traitement de la pelade par plaques. Message principal La pelade par plaques est une forme auto-immune de perte pileuse qui touche à la fois les enfants et les adultes. Même s’il n’y a pas de mortalité associée à la maladie, la morbidité découlant des effets psychologiques de la perte des cheveux peut être dévastatrice. Lorsque la pelade par plaques et le sous-type de la maladie sont identifiés, un schéma thérapeutique approprié peut être amorcé pour aider à arrêter la chute des cheveux et possiblement faire commencer la repousse. Les traitements de première intention sont la triamcinolone intralésionnelle avec des corticostéroïdes topiques ou du minoxidil ou les 2. Les médecins de famille peuvent prescrire ces traitements en toute sécurité et amorcer ces thérapies. Les cas plus avancés ou réfractaires pourraient avoir besoin de diphénylcyclopropénone topique ou d’anthraline topique. On peut traiter la perte de cils avec des analogues de la prostaglandine. Les personnes ayant subi une perte de cheveux abondante peuvent recourir à des options de camouflage ou à des prothèses capillaires. Il est important de surveiller les troubles psychiatriques en raison des effets psychologiques profonds de la perte de cheveux. Conclusion Les médecins de famille verront de nombreux patients qui perdent leurs cheveux. La reconnaissance de la pelade par plaques et la compréhension du processus pathologique sous-jacent permettent d’amorcer un schéma thérapeutique approprié. Les cas plus graves ou r

  16. Comparison between coronary plaque 64-slice spiral CT characteristics and risk factors of coronary artery disease patients in Chinese Han population and Mongolian

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Zhigang; Yang, Xiaoguang; Han, Xiaodong; Dong, Peide; Liu, Aishi

    2013-01-01

    Objective : To compare the coronary atherosclerotic plaque 64-slice spiral CT characteristics and the risk factors of Han (in Inner Mongolia) and Mongolian coronary artery disease patients. Metho d s: The plaques of 126 Mongolian and 269 Han patients were analyzed by 64-slice spiral CT coronary angiography. Their gender, age, height, body mass, the history of hypertension, diabetes, smoking and family diseases, the levels of triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) were compared. Results: The incidence of plaques (P <0.05), the proportion of plaques in the circumflex branch (P <0.05), the proportion of medium-severe lumen stenosis induced by plaques (P <0.05), and the proportion of obstructive plaque involved multi-branch (P <0.05) of the Mongolian patients were higher. The plaque compositions of the two groups did not differ significantly (P> 0.05). The body mass index of the Mongolian patients was higher (P <0.05). The hypertension, diabetes, smoking history, TG, TC, HDL-C and LDL-C of the two groups did not differ significantly (P> 0.05). Conclusion: The higher incidence of coronary atherosclerotic plaques and the more severe lesions of the Mongolian patients may be related to their higher body mass index. PMID:24353662

  17. Differential Inhibition of Human Atherosclerotic Plaque–Induced Platelet Activation by Dimeric GPVI-Fc and Anti-GPVI Antibodies

    PubMed Central

    Jamasbi, Janina; Megens, Remco T.A.; Bianchini, Mariaelvy; Münch, Götz; Ungerer, Martin; Faussner, Alexander; Sherman, Shachar; Walker, Adam; Goyal, Pankaj; Jung, Stephanie; Brandl, Richard; Weber, Christian; Lorenz, Reinhard; Farndale, Richard; Elia, Natalie; Siess, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Background Glycoprotein VI (GPVI) is the essential platelet collagen receptor in atherothrombosis, but its inhibition causes only a mild bleeding tendency. Thus, targeting this receptor has selective antithrombotic potential. Objectives This study sought to compare compounds interfering with platelet GPVI–atherosclerotic plaque interaction to improve current antiatherothrombotic therapy. Methods Human atherosclerotic plaque–induced platelet aggregation was measured in anticoagulated blood under static and arterial flow conditions (550/s, 1,100/s, and 1,500/s). Inhibition by dimeric GPVI fragment crystallizable region of IgG (Fc) masking GPVI binding sites on collagen was compared with that of 3 anti-GPVI antibodies: BLO8-1, a human domain antibody; 5C4, a fragment antigen-binding (Fab fragment) of monoclonal rat immunoglobulin G; and m-Fab-F, a human recombinant sFab against GPVI dimers. Results GPVI-Fc reduced plaque-triggered platelet aggregation in static blood by 51%, BLO8-1 by 88%, and 5C4 by 93%. Under arterial flow conditions, BLO8-1 and 5C4 almost completely inhibited platelet aggregation while preserving platelet adhesion on plaque. Inhibition by GPVI-Fc, even at high concentrations, was less marked but increased with shear rate. Advanced optical imaging revealed rapid persistent GPVI-Fc binding to collagen under low and high shear flow, upstream and downstream of plaque fragments. At low shear particularly, platelets adhered in plaque flow niches to GPVI-Fc–free segments of collagen fibers and recruited other platelets onto aggregates via ADP and TxA2 release. Conclusions Anti-GPVI antibodies inhibit atherosclerotic plaque-induced platelet aggregation under static and flow conditions more effectively than GPVI-Fc. However, potent platelet inhibition by GPVI-Fc at a higher shear rate (1,500/s) suggests localized antithrombotic efficacy at denuded or fissured stenotic high-risk lesions without systemic bleeding. The compound-specific differences

  18. The Relationship between Carotid Intima-Media Thickness and Carotid Plaque in the Northern Manhattan Study

    PubMed Central

    Rundek, Tatjana; Gardener, Hannah; Della-Morte, David; Dong, Chuanhui; Cabral, Digna; Tiozzo, Eduardo; Roberts, Eugene; Crisby, Milita; Chueng, Kuen; Demmer, Ryan; Elkind, Mitchell S. V.; Sacco, Ralph L.; Desvarieux, Moise

    2015-01-01

    Objective Carotid intima–media thickness (cIMT) and carotid plaque (CP) are proposed biomarkers of subclinical atherosclerosis associated with stroke risk. Whether cIMT and CP are distinct phenotypes or single traits at different stages of atherosclerotic development is unclear. We explored the relationship between these markers in the population-based Northern Manhattan Study. Methods We used high-resolution ultrasound and validated imaging protocols to study the cross-sectional (N=1,788 stroke-free participants) and prospective relationship (N=768 with follow-up scan; mean years between examinations=3.5) between CP and cIMT measured in plaque-free areas. Results The mean age was 66±9 (40% male, 19% black, 17% white, 61% Hispanic). The mean baseline cIMT was 0.92±0.09mm, 0.94±0.09mm among the 58% with prevalent plaque, 0.90±0.08mm among the 42% without prevalent plaque (p<0.0001). Each 0.1mm increase in baseline cIMT was associated with a 1.72-fold increased odds of plaque presence (95%CI=1.50-1.97), increased plaque thickness (effect on the median=0.46mm, p<0.0001), and increased plaque area (effect on the median=3.45mm2, p<0.0001), adjusting for demographics and vascular risk factors. Elevated baseline cIMT was associated with an increased risk of new plaque in any location at follow-up, but after adjusting for demographics and vascular risk factors this association was no longer present. No association was observed in carotid segment-specific analyses. Conclusion Increased cIMT was associated with baseline prevalent plaque but did not predict incident plaque independent of other vascular risk factors. This finding suggests that increased cIMT is not an independent predictor of plaque development although these atherosclerotic phenotypes often coexist and share some common vascular determinants. PMID:26071659

  19. Numerical simulation of blood flow and plaque progression in carotid-carotid bypass patient specific case.

    PubMed

    Filipovic, Nenad; Saveljic, Igor; Nikolic, Dalibor; Milosevic, Zarko; Kovacevic, Pavle; Velicki, Lazar

    2015-01-01

    This study describes computer simulation of blood flow and plaque progression pattern in a patient who underwent surgical treatment for infected carotid prosthetic tube graft using carotid-carotid cross-over bypass. The 3D blood flow is governed by the Navier-Stokes equations, together with the continuity equation. Mass transfer within the blood lumen and through the arterial wall is coupled with the blood flow and is modelled by the convection-diffusion equation. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) transport in lumen of the vessel is described by Kedem-Katchalsky equations. The inflammatory process is solved using three additional reaction-diffusion partial differential equations. Calculation based on a computer simulation showed that flow distribution in the left carotid artery (CA) was around 40-50% of the total flow in the right common CA. Also, the left CA had higher pressure gradient after surgical intervention. Plaque progression simulation predicted development of the atherosclerotic plaque in the position of the right common CA and the left internal CA. A novel way of atherosclerotic plaque progression modelling using computer simulation shows a potential clinical benefit with significant impact on the treatment strategy optimization. PMID:26291584

  20. Dose response of chlorhexidine against plaque and comparison with triclosan.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, S; Addy, M; Newcombe, R G

    1994-04-01

    The optimum dose of chlorhexidine delivered by mouthrinse, which balances efficacy against local side-effects, is generally considered to be in the region of 20 mg 2 x daily. Unfortunately, there have been few dose-response studies for chlorhexidine mouthrinses and for these, only limited details are published. The aims of this study were to determine the dose response of chlorhexidine to plaque inhibition and position a 0.1% triclosan rinse within this model. 28 subjects took part in this 7-treatment, double-blind, randomised cross-over 4-day plaque regrowth study. The rinses were 0.01%, 0.05%, 0.1% and 0.2% chlorhexidine, 0.1% triclosan and minus active controls for chlorhexidine and triclosan. On day 1 from a zero plaque baseline, volunteers suspended tooth-cleaning and commenced supervised 2 x daily rinsing with 10 ml volumes of the allocated rinses. On Day 5, plaque was scored by index and area. Treatment differences between the 7 rinses were highly significant. A clear dose-response pattern was seen for chlorhexidine with mean plaque scores decreasing with increasing dose. Even at 0.01%, chlorhexidine showed considerable and significant plaque inhibition compared to control. Triclosan at 0.1% showed limited plaque inhibition and less than 0.01% chlorhexidine. The findings of this study suggest that consideration could be given to low concentration chlorhexidine rinses as adjuncts to oral hygiene.

  1. The dark and bright side of atherosclerotic calcification.

    PubMed

    Pugliese, Giuseppe; Iacobini, Carla; Blasetti Fantauzzi, Claudia; Menini, Stefano

    2015-02-01

    Vascular calcification is an unfavorable event in the natural history of atherosclerosis that predicts cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. However, increasing evidence suggests that different calcification patterns are associated with different or even opposite histopathological and clinical features, reflecting the dual relationship between inflammation and calcification. In fact, initial calcium deposition in response to pro-inflammatory stimuli results in the formation of spotty or granular calcification ("microcalcification"), which induces further inflammation. This vicious cycle favors plaque rupture, unless an adaptive response prevails, with blunting of inflammation and survival of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). VSMCs promote fibrosis and also undergo osteogenic transdifferentiation, with formation of homogeneous or sheet-like calcification ("macrocalcification"), that stabilizes the plaque by serving as a barrier towards inflammation. Unfortunately, little is known about the molecular mechanisms regulating this adaptive response. The advanced glycation/lipoxidation endproducts (AGEs/ALEs) have been shown to promote vascular calcification and atherosclerosis. Recent evidence suggests that two AGE/ALE receptors, RAGE and galectin-3, modulate in divergent ways, not only inflammation, but also vascular osteogenesis, by favoring "microcalcification" and "macrocalcification", respectively. Galectin-3 seems essential for VSMC transdifferentiation into osteoblast-like cells via direct modulation of the WNT-β-catenin signaling, thus driving formation of "macrocalcification", whereas RAGE favors deposition of "microcalcification" by promoting and perpetuating inflammation and by counteracting the osteoblastogenic effect of galectin-3. Further studies are required to understand the molecular mechanisms regulating transition from "microcalcification" to "macrocalcification", thus allowing to design therapeutic strategies which favor this adaptive process

  2. Plaque assay for murine norovirus.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Hernandez, Mariam B; Bragazzi Cunha, Juliana; Wobus, Christiane E

    2012-01-01

    Murine norovirus (MNV) is the only member of the Norovirus genus that efficiently grows in tissue culture. Cell lysis and cytopathic effect (CPE) are observed during MNV-1 infection of murine dendritic cells or macrophages. This property of MNV-1 can be used to quantify the number of infectious particles in a given sample by performing a plaque assay. The plaque assay relies on the ability of MNV-1 to lyse cells and to form holes in a confluent cell monolayer, which are called plaques. Multiple techniques can be used to detect viral infections in tissue culture, harvested tissue, clinical, and environmental samples, but not all measure the number of infectious particles (e.g. qRT-PCR). One way to quantify infectious viral particles is to perform a plaque assay, which will be described in detail below. A variation on the MNV plaque assay is the fluorescent focus assay, where MNV antigen is immunostained in cell monolayers. This assay can be faster, since viral antigen expression precedes plaque formation. It is also useful for titrating viruses unable to form plaques. However, the fluorescent focus assay requires additional resources beyond those of the plaque assay, such as antibodies and a microscope to count focus-forming units. Infectious MNV can also be quantified by determining the 50% Tissue Culture Infective Dose (TCID50). This assay measures the amount of virus required to produce CPE in 50% of inoculated tissue culture cells by endpoint titration. However, its limit of detection is higher compared to a plaque assay. In this article, we describe a plaque assay protocol that can be used to effectively determine the number of infectious MNV particles present in biological or environmental samples. This method is based on the preparation of 10-fold serial dilutions of MNV-containing samples, which are used to inoculate a monolayer of permissive cells (RAW 264.7 murine macrophage cells). Virus is allowed to attach to the cell monolayer for a given period of

  3. Characterization of atherosclerotic arterial tissue using multimodal non-linear optical microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cicchi, Riccardo; Matthäus, Christian; Meyer, Tobias; Lattermann, Annika; Dietzek, Benjamin; Brehm, Bernhard R.; Popp, Jürgen; Pavone, Francesco S.

    2013-06-01

    Atherosclerosis is among the most widespread cardiovascular diseases and one of the leading cause of death in the Western World. Characterization of arterial tissue in atherosclerotic condition is extremely interesting from the diagnostic point of view. Routinely used diagnostic methods, such as histopathological examination, are limited to morphological analysis of the examined tissues, whereas an exhaustive characterization requires a morpho-functional approach. Non-linear microscopy techniques have the potential to bridge this gap by providing morpho-functional information in a label-free way. Here we employed multiple non-linear microscopy techniques, including CARS, TPF, and SHG to provide intrinsic optical contrast from various tissue components in both arterial wall and atherosclerotic plaques. CARS and TPF microscopy were used to respectively image lipid depositions within plaques and elastin in the arterial wall. Cholesterol deposition in the lumen and collagen in the arterial wall were selectively imaged by SHG microscopy and distinguished by forward-backward SHG ratio. Image pattern analysis allowed characterizing collagen organization in different tissue regions. The presented method has the potential to find a stable place in clinical setting as well as to be applied in vivo in the near future.

  4. Effect of Watermarking on Diagnostic Preservation of Atherosclerotic Ultrasound Video in Stroke Telemedicine.

    PubMed

    Dey, Nilanjan; Bose, Soumyo; Das, Achintya; Chaudhuri, Sheli Sinha; Saba, Luca; Shafique, Shoaib; Nicolaides, Andrew; Suri, Jasjit S

    2016-04-01

    Embedding of diagnostic and health care information requires secure encryption and watermarking. This research paper presents a comprehensive study for the behavior of some well established watermarking algorithms in frequency domain for the preservation of stroke-based diagnostic parameters. Two different sets of watermarking algorithms namely: two correlation-based (binary logo hiding) and two singular value decomposition (SVD)-based (gray logo hiding) watermarking algorithms are used for embedding ownership logo. The diagnostic parameters in atherosclerotic plaque ultrasound video are namely: (a) bulb identification and recognition which consists of identifying the bulb edge points in far and near carotid walls; (b) carotid bulb diameter; and (c) carotid lumen thickness all along the carotid artery. The tested data set consists of carotid atherosclerotic movies taken under IRB protocol from University of Indiana Hospital, USA-AtheroPoint™ (Roseville, CA, USA) joint pilot study. ROC (receiver operating characteristic) analysis was performed on the bulb detection process that showed an accuracy and sensitivity of 100 % each, respectively. The diagnostic preservation (DPsystem) for SVD-based approach was above 99 % with PSNR (Peak signal-to-noise ratio) above 41, ensuring the retention of diagnostic parameter devalorization as an effect of watermarking. Thus, the fully automated proposed system proved to be an efficient method for watermarking the atherosclerotic ultrasound video for stroke application.

  5. A Proteomic Focus on the Alterations Occurring at the Human Atherosclerotic Coronary Intima*

    PubMed Central

    de la Cuesta, Fernando; Alvarez-Llamas, Gloria; Maroto, Aroa S.; Donado, Alicia; Zubiri, Irene; Posada, Maria; Padial, Luis R.; Pinto, Angel G.; Barderas, Maria G.; Vivanco, Fernando

    2011-01-01

    Coronary atherosclerosis still represents the major cause of mortality in western societies. Initiation of atherosclerosis occurs within the intima, where major histological and molecular changes are produced during pathogenesis. So far, proteomic analysis of the atherome plaque has been mainly tackled by the analysis of the entire tissue, which may be a challenging approach because of the great complexity of this sample in terms of layers and cell type composition. Based on this, we aimed to study the intimal proteome from the human atherosclerotic coronary artery. For this purpose, we analyzed the intimal layer from human atherosclerotic coronaries, which were isolated by laser microdissection, and compared with those from preatherosclerotic coronary and radial arteries, using a two-dimensional Differential-In-Gel-Electrophoresis (DIGE) approach. Results have pointed out 13 proteins to be altered (seven up-regulated and six down-regulated), which are implicated in the migrative capacity of vascular smooth muscle cells, extracellular matrix composition, coagulation, apoptosis, heat shock response, and intraplaque hemorrhage deposition. Among these, three proteins (annexin 4, myosin regulatory light 2, smooth muscle isoform, and ferritin light chain) constitute novel atherosclerotic coronary intima proteins, because they were not previously identified at this human coronary layer. For this reason, these novel proteins were validated by immunohistochemistry, together with hemoglobin and vimentin, in an independent cohort of arteries. PMID:21248247

  6. New quantification methods for carotid intra-plaque neovascularization using contrast-enhanced ultrasound.

    PubMed

    Akkus, Zeynettin; Hoogi, Assaf; Renaud, Guillaume; van den Oord, Stijn C H; Ten Kate, Gerrit L; Schinkel, Arend F L; Adam, Dan; de Jong, Nico; van der Steen, Antonius F W; Bosch, Johan G

    2014-01-01

    As carotid intra-plaque neovascularization (IPN) is linked to progressive atherosclerotic disease and plaque vulnerability, its accurate quantification might allow early detection of plaque vulnerability. We therefore developed several new quantitative methods for analyzing IPN perfusion and structure. From our analyses, we derived six quantitative parameters-IPN surface area (IPNSA), IPN surface ratio (IPNSR), plaque mean intensity, plaque-to-lumen enhancement ratio, mean plaque contrast percentage and number of micro-vessels (MVN)-and compared these with visual grading of IPN by two independent physicians. A total of 45 carotid arteries with symptomatic stenosis in 23 patients were analyzed. IPNSA (correlation r = 0.719), IPNSR (r = 0.538) and MVN (r = 0.484) were found to be significantly correlated with visual scoring (p < 0.01). IPNSA was the best match to visual scoring. These results indicate that IPNSA, IPNSR and MVN may have the potential to replace qualitative visual scoring and to measure the degree of carotid IPN. PMID:24161799

  7. Carotid plaque characterization using CT and MRI scans for synergistic image analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Getzin, Matthew; Xu, Yiqin; Rao, Arhant; Madi, Saaussan; Bahadur, Ali; Lennartz, Michelle R.; Wang, Ge

    2014-09-01

    Noninvasive determination of plaque vulnerability has been a holy grail of medical imaging. Despite advances in tomographic technologies , there is currently no effective way to identify vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques with high sensitivity and specificity. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are widely used, but neither provides sufficient information of plaque properties. Thus, we are motivated to combine CT and MRI imaging to determine if the composite information can better reflect the histological determination of plaque vulnerability. Two human endarterectomy specimens (1 symptomatic carotid and 1 stable femoral) were imaged using Scanco Medical Viva CT40 and Bruker Pharmascan 16cm 7T Horizontal MRI / MRS systems. μCT scans were done at 55 kVp and tube current of 70 mA. Samples underwent RARE-VTR and MSME pulse sequences to measure T1, T2 values, and proton density. The specimens were processed for histology and scored for vulnerability using the American Heart Association criteria. Single modality-based analyses were performed through segmentation of key imaging biomarkers (i.e. calcification and lumen), image registration, measurement of fibrous capsule, and multi-component T1 and T2 decay modeling. Feature differences were analyzed between the unstable and stable controls, symptomatic carotid and femoral plaque, respectively. By building on the techniques used in this study, synergistic CT+MRI analysis may provide a promising solution for plaque characterization in vivo.

  8. Metabolic disturbances and worsening of atherosclerotic lesions in ApoE-/- mice after cola beverages drinking

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Atherosclerosis is a major health burden. Metabolic disorders had been associated with large consumption of soft drinks. The rising incidence of atherosclerosis and metabolic alterations warrants the study of long-term soft drink consumption’ effects on metabolism and atherosclerosis in genetic deficiency of apolipoprotein E which typically develops spontaneous atherosclerosis and metabolic alterations. Methods ApoE-/- mice were randomized in 3 groups accordingly with free access to: water (W), regular cola (C) or light cola (L). After 8 weeks, 50% of the animals in each group were euthanized (Treatment: W8, C8, L8). The remaining mice (all groups) drank water for 8 weeks and were euthanized (Washout: W16, C16, L16). Body weight and food and drink consumption were periodically measured. Blood was collected (biochemistry). At autopsy, transverse aortic sinus sections were serially cut and stained (histomorphometry); livers and kidneys were processed (microscopy). MANOVA (identification of variance factors) was followed by ANOVA and LSD tests (within-factor differences between levels). Conventionally a p< 0.05 was considered significant. Results Treatment increased drinking volumes (vs W8: 4 fold C8, p<0.0001; +47% L8, p<0.02). Only C reduced eating amounts (–54%, p<0.05 vs W8). I). Compared with W8: C8 developed hyperglycemia (+43%, p<0.03) and increased non-HDL cholesterol (+54%, p<0.05); L8 showed decreased glycemia (–15%, p<0.05 vs W8) and increased creatinine (2.5 fold, p<0.04), urea (+74, p<0.03) and aspartate-aminotransferase (2.8 fold, p<0.05). Hypercreatininemia was observed in L16 (2.7 fold vs W16, p<0.05). Hypertriglyceridemia (+91%, p<0.008) and hyperuremia (+68%, p<0.03) developed over time of study (age). II). Treatment caused plaque area increase (vs W8: 28% C8, p<0.02 and 50% L8, p<0.01; vs W16: 43% C16, p<0.05 and 68% L16, p<0.02) and stenosis (vs W8: 38% C8, p<0.04 and 57% L8, p<0.01; vs W16: 71% C16, p<0.01 and 46% L16, p<0

  9. [Lp-PLA2, a biomarker of vascular inflammation and vulnerability of atherosclerosis plaques].

    PubMed

    Bonnefont-Rousselot, D

    2016-05-01

    A chronic inflammation is involved in various stages of development of the atherosclerotic plaques. Among the emerging biomarkers of atherogenesis, the lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2), formerly known as PAF-acetylhydrolase (McIntyre et al., 2009), hydrolyses the oxidized short chain phospholipids of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), thereby releasing pro-inflammatory mediators (lysophospholipids and oxidized fatty acids). Lp-PLA2, produced by monocytes/macrophages and T-lymphocytes, and mainly associated with LDL (Gazi et al., 2005), is predominantly expressed in the necrotic center of the atherosclerotic plaques and in the macrophage-rich areas (Kolodgie et al., 2006). It would have a predictive role of cardiovascular (CV) events in relation to the vulnerability of atherosclerotic plaques. Determination of Lp-PLA2 has been proposed in the assessment of the CV risk, to ensure a better stratification of populations at intermediate risk for targeted therapy (Davidson et al., 2008). Its proatherogenic role suggested that inhibition of its activity could ensure a better vascular protection in combination with cholesterol-lowering agents. Nevertheless, Lp-PLA2 is not yet a fully validated marker for use in daily clinical practice, especially since the studies using an inhibitor of Lp-PLA2 (darapladib) (STABILITY Investigators et al., 2014; O'Donoghue et al., 2014) did not show any reduction in coronary events. Lp-PLA2 could have a site-specific role in plaque inflammation and development (Fenning et al., 2015). High Lp-PLA2 activity could reflect a response to pro-inflammatory stress characteristic of atherosclerosis (Marathe et al., 2014). This presentation aims at clarifying the involvement of Lp-PLA2 in the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis, and at assessing its interest both as a biomarker for the onset of CV events and as a therapeutic target. PMID:26499399

  10. Loss of ADAMTS4 reduces high fat diet-induced atherosclerosis and enhances plaque stability in ApoE−/− mice

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Saran; Chen, Mo; Li, Yan; Wong, Fiona H. S.; Thiam, Chung Wee; Hossain, Md Zakir; Poh, Kian Keong; Hirohata, Satoshi; Ogawa, Hiroko; Angeli, Véronique; Ge, Ruowen

    2016-01-01

    Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by formation of lipid-rich plaques on the inner walls of arteries. ADAMTS4 (a disintegrin-like and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs-4) is a secreted proteinase that regulates versican turnover in the arterial wall and atherosclerotic plaques. Recent reports indicated elevated ADAMTS4 level in human atherosclerotic plaques and in the plasma of acute coronary syndrome patients. Nevertheless, whether increased ADAMTS4 is a consequence of atherosclerosis or ADAMTS4 has a causal role in atherogenesis remains unknown. In this work, we investigated the role of ADAMTS4 in diet induced atherosclerosis using apolipoprotein E deficient (ApoE−/−) and Adamts4 knockout mice. We show that ADAMTS4 expression increases in plaques as atherosclerosis progresses in ApoE−/− mice. ApoE−/−Adamts4−/− double knockout mice presented a significant reduction in plaque burden at 18 weeks of age. Loss of ADAMTS4 lead to a more stable plaque phenotype with a significantly reduced plaque vulnerability index characterized by reduced lipid content and macrophages accompanied with a significant increase in smooth muscle cells, collagen deposition and fibrotic cap thickness. The reduced atherosclerosis is accompanied by an altered plasma inflammatory cytokine profile. These results demonstrate for the first time that ADAMTS4 contributes to diet induced atherosclerosis in ApoE−/− mice. PMID:27491335

  11. Pioneer F Plaque Location

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    The Pioneer F spacecraft, destined to be the first man made object to escape from the solar system into interstellar space, carries this pictorial plaque. It is designed to show scientifically educated inhabitants of some other star system, who might intercept it millions of years from now, when Pioneer was launched, from where, and by what kind of beings. (Hopefully, any aliens reading the plaque will not use this knowledge to immediately invade Earth.) The design is etched into a 6 inch by 9 inch gold-anodized aluminum plate, attached to the spacecraft's attenna support struts in a position to help shield it from erosion by interstellar dust. The radiating lines at left represents the positions of 14 pulsars, a cosmic source of radio energy, arranged to indicate our sun as the home star of our civilization. The '1-' symbols at the ends of the lines are binary numbers that represent the frequencies of these pulsars at the time of launch of Pioneer F relative of that to the hydrogen atom shown at the upper left with a '1' unity symbol. The hydrogen atom is thus used as a 'universal clock,' and the regular decrease in the frequencies of the pulsars will enable another civilization to determine the time that has elapsed since Pioneer F was launched. The hydrogen is also used as a 'universal yardstick' for sizing the human figures and outline of the spacecraft shown on the right. The hydrogen wavelength, about 8 inches, multiplied by the binary number representing '8' shown next to the woman gives her height, 64 inches. The figures represent the type of creature that created Pioneer. The man's hand is raised in a gesture of good will. Across the bottom are the planets, ranging outward from the Sun, with the spacecraft trajectory arching away from Earth, passing Mars, and swinging by Jupiter.

  12. [Atherosclerotic renal artery disease management update].

    PubMed

    Meier, Pascal; Haesler, Erik; Teta, Daniel; Qanadli, Salah Dine; Burnier, Michel

    2009-02-01

    In the case of atherosclerotic renal artery disease, the best conclusive results lie principally not in the degree of the stenosis but rather in the degree the renal parenchymal disease beyond the stenosis itself. These determining factors involve the controlling of the patients blood pressure, the improvement in the renal function and the beneficial results to the cardiovascular system. Besides the indispensable medical treatment, a revascularisation by angioplasty may be indicated. This procedure with or without vascular stent often allows satisfactory angiographic results. A treatment by surgical revascularisation is only recommended in the case of extensive atherosclerotic lesions of the aorta, complex lesions of the latter or an abdominal aortic aneurism. Although the frequency of restenosis of angioplasty with stent remains extremely low, the risk of cholesterol emboli due to the diffuse atherosclerotic lesions of the abdominal aorta, must be considered at the time of each aortic catheterization. The therapeutic approach of atherosclerotic renal artery disease must be dictated by the whole cardiovascular risk factors and by the threat of target organs. The control of the blood pressure and the maintenance of the renal function must be integrated in the decisional algorithm as well as the possible risks in carrying out an eventual revascularisation procedure. Finally, the renal angioplasty should in numerous situations be integrated in the overall assumption of responsibility of the atherosclerotic vascular diseases, and should be part of the medical treatment. Several questions still do exist; at what moment an atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis should and e considered critical, and which procedure should be considered for which patient? The purpose of this review is to propose a decisional tool for individualized treatments in the light of results from randomized and controlled studies. PMID:18815087

  13. [Atherosclerotic renal artery disease management update].

    PubMed

    Meier, Pascal; Haesler, Erik; Teta, Daniel; Qanadli, Salah Dine; Burnier, Michel

    2009-02-01

    In the case of atherosclerotic renal artery disease, the best conclusive results lie principally not in the degree of the stenosis but rather in the degree the renal parenchymal disease beyond the stenosis itself. These determining factors involve the controlling of the patients blood pressure, the improvement in the renal function and the beneficial results to the cardiovascular system. Besides the indispensable medical treatment, a revascularisation by angioplasty may be indicated. This procedure with or without vascular stent often allows satisfactory angiographic results. A treatment by surgical revascularisation is only recommended in the case of extensive atherosclerotic lesions of the aorta, complex lesions of the latter or an abdominal aortic aneurism. Although the frequency of restenosis of angioplasty with stent remains extremely low, the risk of cholesterol emboli due to the diffuse atherosclerotic lesions of the abdominal aorta, must be considered at the time of each aortic catheterization. The therapeutic approach of atherosclerotic renal artery disease must be dictated by the whole cardiovascular risk factors and by the threat of target organs. The control of the blood pressure and the maintenance of the renal function must be integrated in the decisional algorithm as well as the possible risks in carrying out an eventual revascularisation procedure. Finally, the renal angioplasty should in numerous situations be integrated in the overall assumption of responsibility of the atherosclerotic vascular diseases, and should be part of the medical treatment. Several questions still do exist; at what moment an atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis should and e considered critical, and which procedure should be considered for which patient? The purpose of this review is to propose a decisional tool for individualized treatments in the light of results from randomized and controlled studies.

  14. LXR promotes the maximal egress of monocyte-derived cells from mouse aortic plaques during atherosclerosis regression

    PubMed Central

    Feig, Jonathan E.; Pineda-Torra, Ines; Sanson, Marie; Bradley, Michelle N.; Vengrenyuk, Yuliya; Bogunovic, Dusan; Gautier, Emmanuel L.; Rubinstein, Daniel; Hong, Cynthia; Liu, Jianhua; Wu, Chaowei; van Rooijen, Nico; Bhardwaj, Nina; Garabedian, Michael J.; Tontonoz, Peter; Fisher, Edward A.

    2010-01-01

    We have previously shown that mouse atherosclerosis regression involves monocyte-derived (CD68+) cell emigration from plaques and is dependent on the chemokine receptor CCR7. Concurrent with regression, mRNA levels of the gene encoding LXRα are increased in plaque CD68+ cells, suggestive of a functional relationship between LXR and CCR7. To extend these results, atherosclerotic Apoe–/– mice sufficient or deficient in CCR7 were treated with an LXR agonist, resulting in a CCR7-dependent decrease in plaque CD68+ cells. To test the requirement for LXR for CCR7-dependent regression, we transplanted aortic arches from atherosclerotic Apoe–/– mice, or from Apoe–/– mice with BM deficiency of LXRα or LXRβ, into WT recipients. Plaques from both LXRα- and LXRβ-deficient Apoe–/– mice exhibited impaired regression. In addition, the CD68+ cells displayed reduced emigration and CCR7 expression. Using an immature DC line, we found that LXR agonist treatment increased Ccr7 mRNA levels. This increase was blunted when LXRα and LXRβ levels were reduced by siRNAs. Moreover, LXR agonist treatment of primary human immature DCs resulted in functionally significant upregulation of CCR7. We conclude that LXR is required for maximal effects on plaque CD68+ cell expression of CCR7 and monocyte-derived cell egress during atherosclerosis regression in mice. PMID:21041949

  15. Diabetes as an independent predictor of high atherosclerotic burden assessed by coronary computed tomography angiography: the coronary artery disease equivalent revisited.

    PubMed

    de Araújo Gonçalves, Pedro; Garcia-Garcia, Hector M; Carvalho, Maria Salomé; Dores, Helder; Sousa, Pedro Jeronimo; Marques, Hugo; Ferreira, Antonio; Cardim, Nuno; Teles, Rui Campante; Raposo, Luís; Gabriel, Henrique Mesquita; Almeida, Manuel; Aleixo, Ana; Carmo, Miguel Mota; Machado, Francisco Pereira; Mendes, Miguel

    2013-06-01

    (1) To study the prevalence and severity of coronary artery disease (CAD) in diabetic patients. (2) To provide a detailed characterization of the coronary atherosclerotic burden, including the localization, degree of stenosis and plaque composition by coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA). Single center prospective registry including a total of 581 consecutive stable patients (April 2011-March 2012) undergoing CCTA (Dual-source CT) for the evaluation of suspected CAD without previous myocardial infarction or revascularization procedures. Different coronary plaque burden indexes and plaque type and distribution patterns were compared between patients with (n = 85) and without diabetes (n = 496). The prevalence of CAD (any plaque; 74.1 vs. 56%; p = 0.002) and obstructive CAD (≥50% stenosis; 31.8 vs. 10.3%; p < 0.001) were significantly higher in diabetic patients. The remaining coronary atherosclerotic burden indexes evaluated (plaque in LM-3v-2v with prox. LAD; SIS; SSS; CT-LeSc) were also significantly higher in diabetic patients. In the per segment analysis, diabetics had a higher percentage of segments with plaque in every vessel (2.6/13.1/7.5/10.5% for diabetics vs. 1.4/7.1/3.3/4.4% for nondiabetics for LM, LAD, LCx, RCA respectively; p < 0.001 for all) and of both calcified (19.3 vs. 9.2%, p < 0.001) and noncalcified or mixed types (14.4 vs. 7.0%; p < 0.001); the ratio of proximal-to-distal relative plaque distribution (calculated as LM/proximal vs. mid/distal/branches) was lower for diabetics (0.75 vs. 1.04; p = 0.009). Diabetes was an independent predictor of CAD and was also associated with more advanced CAD, evaluated by indexes of coronary atherosclerotic burden. Diabetics had a significantly higher prevalence of plaques in every anatomical subset and for the different plaque composition. In this report, the relative geographic distribution of the plaques within each subgroup, favored a more mid-to-distal localization in the diabetic patients

  16. IL-35 improves Treg-mediated immune suppression in atherosclerotic mice

    PubMed Central

    Tao, Linlin; Zhu, Jie; Chen, Yuefeng; Wang, Qinghang; Pan, Ying; Yu, Qianqian; Zhou, Birong; Zhu, Huaqing

    2016-01-01

    Interleukin (IL)-35 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine that may have a protective role in atherosclerosis (AS). However, the exact role of IL-35 in the disease, and the etiology of AS, remain incompletely understood. The present study aimed to investigate whether exogenous IL-35 was able to attenuate the formation of atherosclerotic lesions in apoE−/− mice, and analyze alterations in the expression levels of forkhead box protein 3 (Foxp3) in peripheral blood and the lesions during the progression of AS. ApoE−/− mice were randomly divided into two groups that received either a basal diet (negative control group) or a high-fat diet (HFD) for 4 weeks. The HFD group was further subdivided into groups that received IL-35, atorvastatin or no treatment for 12 weeks. Diagnostic enzyme assay kits were applied for the detection of plasma lipids, and hematoxylin and eosin staining was used to analyze the severity of atherosclerotic lesions in apoE−/− mice. Immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry were performed to analyze the expression of Foxp3 in the plasma and atherosclerotic plaques. As compared with the negative control group, the plasma lipids were significantly increased, and the lesions were obviously formed, in the HFD groups. Furthermore, the area of the lesion was reduced in IL-35- and atorvastatin-treated groups, as compared with the AS control group. In addition, Foxp3 expression was upregulated in the plasma and lesions of the IL-35- and atorvastatin-treated groups, as compared with the AS control group. The present study demonstrated that IL-35 improved Treg-mediated immune suppression in atherosclerotic mice, thus suggesting that IL-35 may be a novel therapeutic target for AS.

  17. IL-35 improves Treg-mediated immune suppression in atherosclerotic mice

    PubMed Central

    Tao, Linlin; Zhu, Jie; Chen, Yuefeng; Wang, Qinghang; Pan, Ying; Yu, Qianqian; Zhou, Birong; Zhu, Huaqing

    2016-01-01

    Interleukin (IL)-35 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine that may have a protective role in atherosclerosis (AS). However, the exact role of IL-35 in the disease, and the etiology of AS, remain incompletely understood. The present study aimed to investigate whether exogenous IL-35 was able to attenuate the formation of atherosclerotic lesions in apoE−/− mice, and analyze alterations in the expression levels of forkhead box protein 3 (Foxp3) in peripheral blood and the lesions during the progression of AS. ApoE−/− mice were randomly divided into two groups that received either a basal diet (negative control group) or a high-fat diet (HFD) for 4 weeks. The HFD group was further subdivided into groups that received IL-35, atorvastatin or no treatment for 12 weeks. Diagnostic enzyme assay kits were applied for the detection of plasma lipids, and hematoxylin and eosin staining was used to analyze the severity of atherosclerotic lesions in apoE−/− mice. Immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry were performed to analyze the expression of Foxp3 in the plasma and atherosclerotic plaques. As compared with the negative control group, the plasma lipids were significantly increased, and the lesions were obviously formed, in the HFD groups. Furthermore, the area of the lesion was reduced in IL-35- and atorvastatin-treated groups, as compared with the AS control group. In addition, Foxp3 expression was upregulated in the plasma and lesions of the IL-35- and atorvastatin-treated groups, as compared with the AS control group. The present study demonstrated that IL-35 improved Treg-mediated immune suppression in atherosclerotic mice, thus suggesting that IL-35 may be a novel therapeutic target for AS. PMID:27698748

  18. 99mTc-labelled anti-CD11b SPECT/CT imaging allows detection of plaque destabilization tightly linked to inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Guobing; Hu, Yan; Xiao, Jie; Li, Xiao; Li, Yanli; Tan, Hui; Zhao, Yanzhao; Cheng, Dengfeng; Shi, Hongcheng

    2016-01-01

    It remains challenging to predict the risk of rupture for a specific atherosclerotic plaque timely, a thrombotic trigger tightly linked to inflammation. CD11b, is a biomarker abundant on inflammatory cells, not restricted to monocytes/macrophages. In this study, we fabricated a probe named as 99mTc-MAG3-anti-CD11b for detecting inflamed atherosclerotic plaques with single photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT). The ApoE-knockout (ApoE−/−) mice were selected to establish animal models, with C57BL/6J mice used for control. A higher CD11b+-cell recruitment with higher CD11b expression and more serious whole-body inflammatory status were identified in ApoE−/− mice. The probe showed high in vitro affinity and specificity to the Raw-264.7 macrophages, as well as inflammatory cells infiltrated in atherosclerotic plaques, either in ex vivo fluorescent imaging or in in vivo micro-SPECT/CT imaging, which were confirmed by ex vivo planar gamma imaging, Oil-Red-O staining and CD11b-immunohistochemistry staining. A significant positive relationship was identified between the radioactivity intensity on SPECT/CT images and the CD11b expression in plaques. In summary, this study demonstrates the feasibility of anti-CD11b antibody mediated noninvasive SPECT/CT imaging of inflammatory leukocytes in murine atherosclerotic plaques. This imaging strategy can identify inflammation-rich plaques at risk for rupture and evaluate the effectiveness of inflammation-targeted therapies in atheroma. PMID:26877097

  19. Small leucine-rich proteoglycans in atherosclerotic lesions: novel targets of chronic statin treatment?

    PubMed Central

    Marzoll, Andrea; Melchior-Becker, Ariane; Cipollone, Francesco; Fischer, Jens W

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Small leucine-rich proteoglycans (SLRPs), such as decorin and biglycan, regulate the assembly and turnover of collagenous matrix. The aim of the study was to analyse the effect of chronic rosuvastatin treatment on decorin, biglycan and the collagen matrix in ApoE-deficient mice. Twenty-week-old male ApoE-deficient mice received normal chow or 20 mg rosuvastatin/kg × day for 32 weeks. Subsequently, matrix composition was analysed by histochemistry and immunostaining at the aortic root and in innominate arteries of ApoE deficient mice as well as in human carotid endarterectomy specimens. Immunoblotting of proteoglycans was performed from aortic extracts of ApoE-deficient mice. Immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting revealed strongly increased decorin and biglycan deposition in atherosclerotic plaques at the aortic root and in innominate arteries. In contrast, versican and perlecan expression was not changed by rosu-vastatin. Furthermore, matrix metalloproteinase 2 and gelatinolytic activity were decreased in response to rosuvastatin and a condensed collagen-rich matrix was formed. In carotid endarterectomy specimens of statin-treated patients increased decorin and biglycan accumulation was detected as well. Drug treatment did not change low-density lipoprotein (LDL) plasma levels in ApoE-deficient mice and did not significantly affect lipid retention at the aortic root level as demonstrated by oil-red O staining and immunohistochemistry of LDL. Long-term treatment with rosuvastatin caused pronounced remodelling of atherosclerotic plaque matrix characterized specifically by enrichment with SLRPs and formation of a condensed collagen matrix. Therefore, decorin and biglycan might represent novel targets of statin treatment that contribute to a stable plaque phenotype. PMID:20015203

  20. Laguerre-based method for analysis of time-resolved fluorescence data: application to in-vivo characterization and diagnosis of atherosclerotic lesions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jo, Javier A.; Fang, Qiyin; Papaioannou, Thanassis; Baker, J. Dennis; Dorafshar, Amir; Reil, Todd; Qiao, Jianhua; Fishbein, Michael C.; Freischlag, Julie A.; Marcu, Laura

    2006-03-01

    We report the application of the Laguerre deconvolution technique (LDT) to the analysis of in-vivo time-resolved laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy (TR-LIFS) data and the diagnosis of atherosclerotic plaques. TR-LIFS measurements were obtained in vivo from normal and atherosclerotic aortas (eight rabbits, 73 areas), and subsequently analyzed using LDT. Spectral and time-resolved features were used to develop four classification algorithms: linear discriminant analysis (LDA), stepwise LDA (SLDA), principal component analysis (PCA), and artificial neural network (ANN). Accurate deconvolution of TR-LIFS in-vivo measurements from normal and atherosclerotic arteries was provided by LDT. The derived Laguerre expansion coefficients reflected changes in the arterial biochemical composition, and provided a means to discriminate lesions rich in macrophages with high sensitivity (>85%) and specificity (>95%). Classification algorithms (SLDA and PCA) using a selected number of features with maximum discriminating power provided the best performance. This study demonstrates the potential of the LDT for in-vivo tissue diagnosis, and specifically for the detection of macrophages infiltration in atherosclerotic lesions, a key marker of plaque vulnerability.

  1. Non-linear imaging and characterization of atherosclerotic arterial tissue using combined two photon fluorescence, second-harmonic generation and CARS microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cicchi, Riccardo; Matthäus, Christian; Meyer, Tobias; Lattermann, Annika; Dietzek, Benjamin; Brehm, Bernhard R.; Popp, Jürgen; Pavone, Francesco S.

    2014-02-01

    Atherosclerosis is among the most widespread cardiovascular diseases and one of the leading cause of death in the Western World. Characterization of arterial tissue in atherosclerotic condition is extremely interesting from the diagnostic point of view. Routinely used diagnostic methods, such as histopathological examination, are limited to morphological analysis of the examined tissues, whereas an exhaustive characterization requires a morpho-functional approach. Multimodal non-linear microscopy has the potential to bridge this gap by providing morpho-functional information on the examined tissues in a label-free way. Here we employed multiple non-linear microscopy techniques, including CARS, TPF, and SHG to provide intrinsic optical contrast from various tissue components in both arterial wall and atherosclerotic plaques. CARS and TPF microscopy were used to respectively image lipid depositions within plaques and elastin in the arterial wall. Cholesterol deposition in the lumen and collagen in the arterial wall were selectively imaged by SHG microscopy and distinguished by forward-backward SHG ratio. Image pattern analysis allowed characterizing collagen organization in different tissue regions. Different values of fiber mean size, distribution and anisotropy are calculated for lumen and media prospectively allowing for automated classification of atherosclerotic lesions. The presented method represents a promising diagnostic tool for evaluating atherosclerotic tissue and has the potential to find a stable place in clinical setting as well as to be applied in vivo in the near future.

  2. Making a Lightweight Battery Plaque

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reid, M. A.; Post, R. E.; Soltis, D.

    1986-01-01

    Plaque formed in porous plastic by electroless plating. Lightweight plaque prepared by electroless plating of porous plastic contains embedded wire or expanded metal grid. Plastic may or may not be filled with soluble pore former. If it contains soluble pore former, treated to remove soluble pore former and increase porosity. Porous plastic then clamped into rig that allows plating solutions to flow through plastic. Lightweight nickel plaque used as electrode substrate for alkaline batteries, chiefly Ni and Cd electrodes, and for use as electrolyte-reservoir plates for fuel cells.

  3. Apoptosis of vascular smooth muscle cells in vascular remodelling and atherosclerotic plaque rupture.

    PubMed

    Bennett, M R

    1999-02-01

    Apoptosis (programmed cell death) of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) has recently been identified as an important process in a variety of human vascular diseases, including atherosclerosis, arterial injury, and restenosis after angioplasty. VSMC apoptosis is regulated by interactions between the local cell-cell and cytokine environment within the arterial wall, and the expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins by the cell, including death receptors, proto-oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes. This review summarises our current knowledge of the occurrence and mechanisms underlying VSMC apoptosis in atherosclerosis and arterial remodelling.

  4. The induction of atherosclerotic plaque-like mounds in cultures of aortic smooth muscle cells.

    PubMed

    May, J F; Paule, W J; Rounds, D E; Blankenhorn, D H; Zemplenyi, T

    1975-07-18

    Smooth muscle cells harvested from the tunica media of piglet aortae were maintained in continous culture for 10 months. When grown in the presence of 95% air and 5% CO2 they maintained a mature morphology as evaluated ultrastructurally. As these populations became confluent, the cells became oriented parallel to each other. When grown in the presence of 4% O2, 91% N2, and 5% CO2, this polarized pattern was disrupted. Focal areas of lipid accumulation were observed, succeeded by mound formation at these sites. The mound stained positive with PAS, aldehyde fuchsin, and oil red O. They were surrounded by 2-4 layers of intact cells. The centers of the mound were composed of extracellular material and cell debris.

  5. Markers of inflammation associated with plaque progression and instability in patients with carotid atherosclerosis.

    PubMed

    Ammirati, Enrico; Moroni, Francesco; Norata, Giuseppe Danilo; Magnoni, Marco; Camici, Paolo G

    2015-01-01

    Atherosclerosis is the focal expression of a systemic disease affecting medium- and large-sized arteries, in which traditional cardiovascular risk factor and immune factors play a key role. It is well accepted that circulating biomarkers, including C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, reliably predict major cardiovascular events, including myocardial infarction or death. However, the relevance of biomarkers of systemic inflammation to atherosclerosis progression in the carotid artery is less established. The large majority of clinical studies focused on the association between biomarkers and subclinical atherosclerosis, that is, carotid intima-media thickening (cIMT), which represents an earlier stage of the disease. The aim of this work is to review inflammatory biomarkers that were associated with a higher atherosclerotic burden, a faster disease progression, and features of plaque instability, such as inflammation or neovascularization, in patients with carotid atherosclerotic plaque, which represents an advanced stage of disease compared with cIMT. The association of biomarkers with the occurrence of cerebrovascular events, secondary to carotid plaque rupture, will also be presented. Currently, the degree of carotid artery stenosis is used to predict the risk of future cerebrovascular events in patients affected by carotid atherosclerosis. However, this strategy appears suboptimal. The identification of suitable biomarkers could provide a useful adjunctive criterion to ensure better risk stratification and optimize management. PMID:25960621

  6. Unstable carotid artery plaque: new insights and controversies in diagnostics and treatment

    PubMed Central

    Skagen, Karolina; Skjelland, Mona; Zamani, Mahtab; Russell, David

    2016-01-01

    Cardiovascular disease is estimated to be the leading cause of death, globally causing 14 million deaths each year. Stroke remains a massive public health problem and there is an increasing need for better strategies for the prevention and treatment of this disease. At least 20% of ischemic strokes are thromboembolic in nature, caused by a thromboembolism from an atherosclerotic plaque at the carotid bifurcation or the internal carotid artery. Current clinical guidelines for both primary and secondary prevention of stroke in patients with carotid stenosis caused by atherosclerotic plaques remain reliant on general patient characteristics (traditional risk factors for stroke) and static measures of the degree of artery stenosis. Patients with similar traditional risk factors, however, have been found to have different risk of stroke, and it has in recent years become increasingly clear that the degree of artery stenosis alone is not the best estimation of stroke risk. There is a need for new methods for the assessment of stroke risk to improve risk prediction for the individual patient. This review aims to give an overview of new methods available for the identification of carotid plaque instability and the assessment of stroke risk. PMID:27586546

  7. Unstable carotid artery plaque: new insights and controversies in diagnostics and treatment.

    PubMed

    Skagen, Karolina; Skjelland, Mona; Zamani, Mahtab; Russell, David

    2016-08-31

    Cardiovascular disease is estimated to be the leading cause of death, globally causing 14 million deaths each year. Stroke remains a massive public health problem and there is an increasing need for better strategies for the prevention and treatment of this disease. At least 20% of ischemic strokes are thromboembolic in nature, caused by a thromboembolism from an atherosclerotic plaque at the carotid bifurcation or the internal carotid artery. Current clinical guidelines for both primary and secondary prevention of stroke in patients with carotid stenosis caused by atherosclerotic plaques remain reliant on general patient characteristics (traditional risk factors for stroke) and static measures of the degree of artery stenosis. Patients with similar traditional risk factors, however, have been found to have different risk of stroke, and it has in recent years become increasingly clear that the degree of artery stenosis alone is not the best estimation of stroke risk. There is a need for new methods for the assessment of stroke risk to improve risk prediction for the individual patient. This review aims to give an overview of new methods available for the identification of carotid plaque instability and the assessment of stroke risk. PMID:27586546

  8. Focus on the "unstable" carotid plaque: detection of intraplaque angiogenesis with contrast ultrasound. Present state and future perspectives.

    PubMed

    Giannoni, Maria Fabrizia; Vicenzini, Edoardo

    2009-04-01

    Over the past 20 years, conventional ultrasonography has identified features of the "unstable" carotid plaque. Histological studies have recognized that plaque inflammation and neoangiogenesis play a pivotal role in the developing of the vulnerable plaque. Hence, the growing interest on the biological activities of atherosclerotic lesions leading to cerebrovascular events. The presence of adventitial vasa vasorum and the occurrence of plaque vascularization have been considered as predictors of unstable lesions in cerebrovascular and/or cardiovascular patients. The advent of ultrasound contrast agents has represented a fundamental step in the up-to-date functional evaluation in several fields with minimally invasive procedures. Contrast specific ultrasound modalities are currently used with excellent results in oncology, in cardiology and in vascular diseases. Contrast carotid ultrasound is an emerging imaging technique, able to depict in vivo new functional information on plaque activity and vascularization that may add further new data on the actual condition and future cerebrovascular risk. Further studies will provide a better clarification of the degree of neo-angiogenesis. A future strategy could be represented by the monitoring of plaque neoangiogenesis in order to detect the possible pharmacological effects on plaque remodeling.

  9. An efficient two-stage approach for image-based FSI analysis of atherosclerotic arteries

    PubMed Central

    Rayz, Vitaliy L.; Mofrad, Mohammad R. K.; Saloner, David

    2010-01-01

    Patient-specific biomechanical modeling of atherosclerotic arteries has the potential to aid clinicians in characterizing lesions and determining optimal treatment plans. To attain high levels of accuracy, recent models use medical imaging data to determine plaque component boundaries in three dimensions, and fluid–structure interaction is used to capture mechanical loading of the diseased vessel. As the plaque components and vessel wall are often highly complex in shape, constructing a suitable structured computational mesh is very challenging and can require a great deal of time. Models based on unstructured computational meshes require relatively less time to construct and are capable of accurately representing plaque components in three dimensions. These models unfortunately require additional computational resources and computing time for accurate and meaningful results. A two-stage modeling strategy based on unstructured computational meshes is proposed to achieve a reasonable balance between meshing difficulty and computational resource and time demand. In this method, a coarsegrained simulation of the full arterial domain is used to guide and constrain a fine-scale simulation of a smaller region of interest within the full domain. Results for a patient-specific carotid bifurcation model demonstrate that the two-stage approach can afford a large savings in both time for mesh generation and time and resources needed for computation. The effects of solid and fluid domain truncation were explored, and were shown to minimally affect accuracy of the stress fields predicted with the two-stage approach. PMID:19756798

  10. Chronic senolytic treatment alleviates established vasomotor dysfunction in aged or atherosclerotic mice.

    PubMed

    Roos, Carolyn M; Zhang, Bin; Palmer, Allyson K; Ogrodnik, Mikolaj B; Pirtskhalava, Tamar; Thalji, Nassir M; Hagler, Michael; Jurk, Diana; Smith, Leslie A; Casaclang-Verzosa, Grace; Zhu, Yi; Schafer, Marissa J; Tchkonia, Tamara; Kirkland, James L; Miller, Jordan D

    2016-10-01

    While reports suggest a single dose of senolytics may improve vasomotor function, the structural and functional impact of long-term senolytic treatment is unknown. To determine whether long-term senolytic treatment improves vasomotor function, vascular stiffness, and intimal plaque size and composition in aged or hypercholesterolemic mice with established disease. Senolytic treatment (intermittent treatment with Dasatinib + Quercetin via oral gavage) resulted in significant reductions in senescent cell markers (TAF(+) cells) in the medial layer of aorta from aged and hypercholesterolemic mice, but not in intimal atherosclerotic plaques. While senolytic treatment significantly improved vasomotor function (isolated organ chamber baths) in both groups of mice, this was due to increases in nitric oxide bioavailability in aged mice and increases in sensitivity to NO donors in hypercholesterolemic mice. Genetic clearance of senescent cells in aged normocholesterolemic INK-ATTAC mice phenocopied changes elicited by D+Q. Senolytics tended to reduce aortic calcification (alizarin red) and osteogenic signaling (qRT-PCR, immunohistochemistry) in aged mice, but both were significantly reduced by senolytic treatment in hypercholesterolemic mice. Intimal plaque fibrosis (picrosirius red) was not changed appreciably by chronic senolytic treatment. This is the first study to demonstrate that chronic clearance of senescent cells improves established vascular phenotypes associated with aging and chronic hypercholesterolemia, and may be a viable therapeutic intervention to reduce morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases.

  11. Attenuation of atherosclerotic lesions in diabetic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice using gene silencing of macrophage migration inhibitory factor

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Hui; Zhang, XianJun; Zhao, Lei; Zhen, Xi; Huang, ShanYing; Wang, ShaSha; He, Hong; Liu, ZiMo; Xu, NaNa; Yang, FaLin; Qu, ZhongHua; Ma, ZhiYong; Zhang, Cheng; Zhang, Yun; Hu, Qin

    2015-01-01

    Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) involves the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis (AS) and increased plasma MIF levels in diabetes mellitus (DM) patients are associated with AS. Here, we have been suggested that MIF could be a critical contributor for the pathological process of diabetes-associated AS by using adenovirus-mediated RNA interference. First, streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic animal model was constructed in 114 apolipoprotein E-deficient mice (apoE−/− mice) fed on a regular chow diet. Then, the animals were randomly divided into three groups: Adenovirus-mediated MIF interference (Ad-MIFi), Ad-enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) and normal saline (NS) group (n ≈ 33/group). Non-diabetic apoE−/− mice (n = 35) were served as controls. Ad-MIFi, Ad-EGFP and NS were, respectively, injected into the tail vein of mice from Ad-MIFi, Ad-EGFP and NS group, which were injected repeatedly 4 weeks later. Physical, biochemical, morphological and molecular parameters were measured. The results showed that diabetic apoE−/− mice had significantly aggravated atherosclerotic lesions. MIF gene interference attenuated atherosclerotic lesions and stabilized atheromatous plaque, accompanied by the decreased macrophages and lipids deposition and inflammatory cytokines production, improved glucose intolerance and plasma cholesterol level, the decreased ratio of matrix matalloproteinase-2/tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 and plaque instability index. An increased expression of MIF and its ligand CD74 was also detected in the diabetic patients with coronary artery disease. The results suggest that MIF gene interference is able to inhibit atherosclerotic lesions and increase plaque stability in diabetic apoE−/−mice. MIF inhibition could be a novel and promising approach to the treatment of DM-associated AS. PMID:25661015

  12. VEGF pathway inhibition by anticancer agent sunitinib and susceptibility to atherosclerosis plaque disruption.

    PubMed

    Ropert, Stanislas; Vignaux, Olivier; Mir, Olivier; Goldwasser, François

    2011-12-01

    Patients treated with anti-VEGF agents are at increased risk for arterial thrombo-embolic events (ATEs). However, the pathophysiology of such acute vascular complications remains unclear. We report on a case of bowel infarction in a renal cancer patient treated with the anti-VEGF agent sunitinib. An abdominal CT-scan evidenced the rupture of an atherosclerotic plaque located at the emergence of the superior mesenteric artery. In view of this report, we suggest that evaluation of the risk of ATE in patients receiving anti-VEGF agents should include not only age and past history of ATE as suggested by previous studies, but also assessment of atherosclerotic lesions on CT-scan.

  13. Wall motion in the stenotic carotid artery: association with greyscale plaque characteristics, the degree of stenosis and cerebrovascular symptoms

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Systolic dilation of the atherosclerotic carotid artery depends on several factors including arterial compliance and the haemodynamic environment. The purpose of this study was to quantify wall motion in stenotic carotid arteries and investigate any associations with the ultrasound greyscale plaque characteristics, the degree of stenosis, and the presence of cerebrovascular symptoms. Methods Variations in the lumen diameters of 61 stenotic carotid arteries (stenosis range 10%-95%) from 47 patients were measured before the proximal shoulder of the atherosclerotic plaque using ultrasound image sequences over several cardiac cycles. Absolute and percentage diameter changes from diastole to systole were calculated and their relationship to the degree of stenosis, greyscale plaque characteristics, and the presence of ipsilateral hemispheric symptoms were studied. Results The mean absolute diameter change from diastole to systole was 0.45 mm (s.d. 0.17), and the mean percentage diameter change was 6.9% (s.d. 3.1%). Absolute and percentage diameter changes did not have a statistically significant relationship to the degree of stenosis, greyscale plaque characteristics, or the presence of ipsilateral hemispheric symptoms (p > 0.05). Parameters significantly correlated with the presence of symptoms were the degree of stenosis (p = 0.01), plaque greyscale median (p = 0.02) and the plaque surface irregularity index (p = 0.02). Conclusions Our study confirmed the degree of stenosis, plaque greyscale median and our surface irregularity index were significant predictors of symptoms, but found no significant correlation between diameter changes of stenosed carotid arteries and the presence of ipsilateral hemispheric symptoms. PMID:24139162

  14. Mean platelet volume: a potential biomarker of the risk and prognosis of heart disease

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Dong-Hyun; Kang, Seong-Ho; Song, Heesang

    2016-01-01

    Platelets are essential for progression of atherosclerotic lesions, plaque destabilization, and thrombosis. They secrete and express many substances that are crucial mediators of coagulation, inflammation, and atherosclerosis. Mean platelet volume (MPV) is a precise measure of platelet size, and is routinely reported during complete blood count analysis. Emerging evidence supports the use of MPV as a biomarker predicting the risk of ischemic stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation, and as a guide for prescription of anticoagulation and rhythm-control therapy. In addition, MPV may predict the clinical outcome of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in patients with coronary artery disease and indicate whether additional adjunctive therapy is needed to improve clinical outcomes. This review focuses on the current evidence that MPV may be a biomarker of the risk and prognosis of common heart diseases, particularly atrial fibrillation and coronary artery disease treated via PCI. PMID:27776204

  15. Surface expression of CXCR4 on circulating CD133+ progenitor cells is associated with plaque instability in subjects with carotid artery stenosis

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Circulating progenitor cells (PCs) are considered to contribute to the remodeling of atherosclerotic plaques. Their surface receptor CXCR4 plays an important role in the recruitment of PCs to their target. This study compares the mobilization of PCs and their functional characteristics in asymptomatic subjects with stable and with unstable carotid plaques. This could provide insight into plaque remodeling and help to develop biomarkers for plaque stability. Methods In 31 subjects with asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis we analyzed the number of CD133+ PCs, VEGFR2+CD34+ PCs and the surface expression of CXCR4 on CD133+ PCs by flow cytometry. Subjects underwent bilateral carotid MRI in a 1.5-T scanner in order to allow the categorization of plaques, following the modified criteria of the American Heart Association. Results The number of CD133+ PCs and VEGFR2+CD34+ PCs showed no significant difference between subjects with stable and unstable carotid plaques. The expression of CXCR4 on CD133+ PCs was higher in subjects with unstable plaques than in subjects with stable plaques (p = 0.009). Conclusions This study demonstrates an association between functional characteristics of circulating CD133+ PCs and plaque stability in subjects with asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis. The higher expression of CXCR4 on CD133+ PCs suggests a difference in the recruitment of PCs to the injured tissue in subjects with unstable plaques and subjects with stable plaques. As surface expression of CXCR4 on CD133+ PCs differs in subjects with unstable and with stable plaques, CXCR4 is a promising candidate for a serological biomarker for plaque stability. PMID:20072672

  16. Quantification of plaque stiffness by Brillouin microscopy (Conference Presentation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antonacci, Giuseppe; Pedrigi, Ryan; Krams, Rob; Török, Peter

    2016-03-01

    Spontaneous Brillouin scattering is an inelastic scattering process arising from inherent thermal density fluctuations, or acoustic phonons, propagating in a medium. Over the last few years, Brillouin spectroscopy has shown great potential to become a reliable non-invasive diagnostic tool due to its unique capability of retrieving viscoelastic properties of materials such as strain and stiffness. The detection of the weak scattered light, in addition to the resolution of the Brillouin peaks (typically shifted by few GHz from the central peak) represent one of the greatest challenges in Brillouin. The recent development of high sensitivity CCD cameras has brought Brillouin spectroscopy from a point sampling technique to a new imaging modality. Furthermore, the application of Virtually Imaged Phased Array (VIPA) etalons has dramatically reduced insertion loss simultaneously allowing fast (<1s) collection of the entire spectrum. Hitherto Brillouin microscopy has been shown the ability to provide unique stiffness maps of biological samples, such as the human lens, in a non-destructive manner. In this work, we present results obtained using our Brillouin microscope to map the stiffness variations in the walls of blood vessels in particular when atherosclerotic plaques are formed. The stiffness of the membrane that covers the plaques is critical in developing acute myocardial infarction yet it is not currently possible to credibly assess its stiffness due to lack of suitable methods.

  17. The contemporary management of intracranial atherosclerotic disease.

    PubMed

    Leng, Xinyi; Wong, Ka Sing; Leung, Thomas W

    2016-06-01

    Intracranial atherosclerotic disease is the most common cause of cerebral vasculopathy and an important stroke etiology worldwide, with a higher prevalence in Asian, Hispanic and African ethnicities. Symptomatic intracranial atherosclerotic disease portends a recurrent stroke risk as high as 18% at one year. The key to secondary prevention is an understanding of the underlying stroke mechanism and aggressive control of conventional cardiovascular risks. Contemporary treatment includes antiplatelet therapy, optimal glycemic and blood pressure control, statin therapy and lifestyle modifications. For patients with high-grade (70-99%) symptomatic steno-occlusion, short-term dual antiplatelet therapy with aspirin and clopidogrel followed by life-long single antiplatelet therapy may reduce the recurrent risk. Current evidence does not advocate percutaneous transluminal angioplasty and stenting as an initial treatment. External counterpulsation, encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis and remote limb ischemic preconditioning are treatments under investigation. Future studies should aim at predicting patients prone to recurrence despite of medical therapies and testing the efficacy of emerging therapies.

  18. Biobanking in Atherosclerotic Disease, Opportunities and Pitfalls

    PubMed Central

    Scholtes, V.P.W; de Vries, J.P.P.M; Catanzariti, L.M; de Kleijn, D.P.V; Moll, F.L; de Borst, G.J; Pasterkamp, G

    2011-01-01

    Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Western countries and current research is still focusing on optimizing therapeutic approaches in the battle against this multifactorial disease. Concepts regarding the pathogenesis of many cardiovascular diseases originate from observations of human atherosclerotic tissue obtained from autopsies or during vascular surgery. These observations have helped us to disentangle the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis. However, identifying vulnerable patients, those prone to developing cardiovascular complications, remains difficult. The search for predictive cardiovascular biomarkers continues and large, well organized biobanks are needed to discover or validate novel biomarkers. Biobanks are an extremely valuable resource that enables us to study the influence of both genetic and environmental factors on the development of multifactorial diseases such as atherosclerosis. This review will focus on the advantages and pitfalls in atherosclerotic biobanking. PMID:22294969

  19. Effects of insulin sensitizers on plaque vulnerability associated with elevated lipid content in atheroma in ApoE-knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Cefalu, W T; Wang, Z Q; Schneider, D J; Absher, P M; Baldor, L C; Taatjes, D J; Sobel, B E

    2004-03-01

    Acute coronary syndromes are generally precipitated by rupture of lipid-laden, relatively acellular, vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques with thin fibrous caps. We investigated whether a high-fat diet alters insulin sensitivity and whether insulin sensitizers (troglitazone and rosiglitazone) alter the composition of otherwise lipidladen atherosclerotic plaques in mice deficient in apolipoprotein E (ApoE). ApoE-knockout mice were fed a high-fat (n=30) or standard chow (n=10) diet for two weeks. Thereafter, those fed the high-fat diet were treated with troglitazone (n=10), rosiglitazone (n=10) or no drug (n=10) for 16 weeks beginning at 8 weeks of age. Carbohydrate metabolism was assessed with intraperitoneal glucose tolerance tests and insulin tolerance tests. Plaque composition was characterised with confocal laser scanning microscopy. The high-fat diet induced insulin resistance in the absence of weight gain. Compared with control animals on the high-fat diet, animals given troglitazone (400 mg/kg/day) or rosiglitazone (4 mg/kg/day) had significantly less area under the curve (AUC) for insulin ( p<0.05) and glucose disposal ( p<0.05). Despite significant increases in insulin sensitivity with drug treatment, no change in HDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels, nor reduction in atheroma size or lipid content was noted. Thus, improvement in insulin resistance induced by a high-fat diet in this animal model of vasculopathy did not alter plaque composition.

  20. [Atherosclerotic calcification of coronary artery detected by electron beam CT: A new probation of calcific algorithm].

    PubMed

    Li, Wensheng; Song, Zhijian; Zhao, Shumin; Zuo, Huanchen

    2006-08-01

    Electron beam computed tomography (EBCT) can detect the atherosclerotic calcification of coronary artery qualitatively and quantitatively. It was also verified that the atherosclerotic calcification was directly related to the atherosclerotic extent and had a limited relation to the occurrence of coronary heart disease (CHD). So EBCT is one of the good non-invasive methods for predicting the risk of CHD. However, there are some problems in the calcification parameters (calcification area, calcification score) adopted by EBCT which have high variability and low reproducibility. As a result, these parameters have imperfection and need to be improved further. This research provides a new calcification parameter (calcification volume) which makes the use of three dimensional information of all calcific pixels in EBCT scanning images of coronary artery. After experiment in 11 human coronary artery specimens, it was testified that calcification volume had a lower variability than calcification area and calcification score in 25% percentile, median, 75% percentile, Mean, respectively. P value of t test in Mean variability is 0.027, and 0.058. These results suggest that calcification volume may be a new calcification parameter. PMID:17002127

  1. Radioiodine Therapy Does Not Change the Atherosclerotic Burden of the Carotid Arteries

    PubMed Central

    Andersen, Ulrik Bjørn; Sørensen, Christian Hjort; Nygaard, Birte; Jensen, Lars Thorbjørn

    2016-01-01

    Background and aim: Atherosclerosis evolves or accelerates when arteries are exposed to ionizing radiation, both early and late after exposure. Radioiodine therapy of benign thyroid disease exposes the carotid arteries to 4–50 Gy, and may thereby increase the risk of atherosclerosis. Increased risk of cerebrovascular events has been reported after radioiodine therapy. This study aimed to examine whether atherosclerosis develops early or late after radioiodine therapy of benign thyroid disease. Method: Patients treated for benign thyroid disorders (nontoxic goiter, adenoma, and hyperthyroidism) were examined with ultrasound for the main outcome, carotid intima media thickness (CIMT), and for plaque presence (plaque presence only in late damage). Signs of early damage from radioiodine were studied in 39 radioiodine-treated patients, who were examined before treatment and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after treatment. Late changes were studied in a cross-sectional case-control design, with radioiodine-treated patients as cases (n = 193) and patients treated with surgery as controls (n = 95). Data were analyzed with repeated measurement for longitudinal data, and with multivariate regression for cross-sectional data. Results were adjusted for age, sex, cholesterol, smoking status, known atherosclerotic disease, and body mass index. Results: No changes in CIMT were found in the patients followed prospectively for one year after treatment with radioactive iodine for benign thyroid disease (p = 0.58). In the study on late effects, there was no difference in CIMT (p = 0.25) or presence of plaques (p = 0.70) between those treated with radioactive iodine and those treated with surgery (9.8 and 5.6 years since treatment, respectively). Furthermore, the level of thyrotropin (TSH) did not influence these atherosclerosis markers. Conclusion: No early changes in CIMT were detected in patients treated with radioactive iodine for benign thyroid disease. No signs

  2. Poor maternal nutrition programmes a pro-atherosclerotic phenotype in ApoE-/- mice.

    PubMed

    Blackmore, Heather L; Piekarz, Ana V; Fernandez-Twinn, Denise S; Mercer, John R; Figg, Nichola; Bennett, Martin; Ozanne, Susan E

    2012-08-01

    Numerous animal studies have consistently shown that early life exposure to LP (low-protein) diet programmes risk factors for CVD (cardiovascular disease) such as dyslipidaemia, high BP (blood pressure) and cardiac dysfunction in the offspring. However, studies on the effect of maternal under-nutrition on offspring development of atherosclerosis are scarce. Applying our LP model to the ApoE(-/-) atherosclerosis-prone mouse model, we investigated the development of atherosclerotic lesions in the aortic root of 6-month-old offspring. In addition, markers of plaque progression including SMA (smooth muscle actin) and Mac3 (macrophage marker 3) were studied. Pregnant dams were fed on a control (20% protein) or on an isocaloric LP diet (8% protein) throughout pregnancy and lactation. After weaning, male offspring were maintained on 20% normal laboratory chow. At 6 months of age, LP offspring showed a significantly greater plaque area (P<0.05) with increased cholesterol clefts and significantly higher indices of DNA damage compared with controls (P<0.05). The expression of HMG-CoA reductase (3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase) (P<0.05) and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) receptor in the liver of LP offspring were increased. Furthermore, LP offspring had higher LDL-cholesterol levels (P<0.05) and a trend towards elevated insulin. There were no differences in other lipid measurements and fasting glucose between groups. These observations suggest that early exposure to an LP diet accelerates the development and increases the progression of atherosclerotic lesions in young adult offspring. Future studies are needed to elucidate the specific mechanisms linking in utero exposure to a diet low in protein to the development of atherosclerosis.

  3. Real-Time Elastography Visualization and Histopathological Characterization of Rabbit Atherosclerotic Carotid Arteries.

    PubMed

    Wang, ZhenZhen; Liu, NaNa; Zhang, LiFeng; Li, XiaoYing; Han, XueSong; Peng, YanQing; Dang, MeiZheng; Sun, LiTao; Tian, JiaWei

    2016-01-01

    To evaluate the feasibility of non-invasive vascular real-time elastography imaging (RTE) in visualizing the composition of rabbit carotid atherosclerotic plaque as determined by histopathology, a rabbit model of accelerated carotid atherosclerosis was used. Thirty rabbits were randomly divided into two groups of 15 rabbits each. The first group was fed a cholesterol-rich diet and received balloon-induced injury the left common carotid artery endothelium, whereas the second group only received a cholesterol-rich diet. The rabbits were all examined in vivo with HITACHI non-invasive vascular real-time elastography (Hi-RTE) at baseline and 12 wk, and results from the elastography were compared with American Heart Association histologic classifications. Hi-RTE and the American Heart Association histologic classifications had good agreement, with weighted Cohen's kappa (95% confidence internal) of 0.785 (0.649-0.920). Strains of segmented plaques that were stained in different colors were statistically different (p < 0.0001). The sensitivity and specificity of elastograms for detecting a lipid core were 95.5% and 61.5%, respectively, and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.789, with a 95% confidence interval of 0.679 to 0.876. This study is the first to indicate the feasibility of utilizing Hi-RTE in visualizing normal and atherosclerotic rabbit carotid arteries non-invasively. This affordable and reliable method can be widely applied in research of both animal and human peripheral artery atherosclerosis.

  4. Lipid lowering by hydroalcoholic extracts of Amaranthus Caudatus L. induces regression of rabbits atherosclerotic lesions

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The antihypercholesterolemic and antiatherogenic effect of hydroalcoholic extracts of Amaranthus caudatus L(A. caudatus). on regression of atherosclerosis in experimental rabbits maintained on a high cholesterol diet. Methods Twenty five rabbits were randomly divided into five groups of five each and treated 75 days as follows: Group I: normal diet(ND), Group II: Hypercholesterolemic diet (HCD) for 45 days; Group III: Hypercholesterolemic diet (HCD) for 75 days, Group IV and V: HCD for 45 days and then normal diet and normal diet + A. caudatus(150 mg·kg day) respectively for an additional 30 days(regression period). Blood samples were collected before (0 time) and after 45 days and 75 days of experimental diets for measurement of biochemical factors. The aortas were removed at the end of the study for assessment of atherosclerotic plaques. Results In regression period dietary use of A. caudatus in group V significantly decreased total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, malondialdehyde, C-reactive protein while apolipoproteinA and HDL- cholesterol was significantly increased compared to group IV. The atherosclerotic area was significantly decreased in group V. Whereas, the animals that in regression period received only normal diet showed no regression but rather progression of atherosclerosis. Conclusion These results thus suggest that hydroalcoholic extracts of A. caudatus can reduce risk factors and cause regression of fatty lesons in aorta. PMID:21619685

  5. Intravital live cell triggered imaging system reveals monocyte patrolling and macrophage migration in atherosclerotic arteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McArdle, Sara; Chodaczek, Grzegorz; Ray, Nilanjan; Ley, Klaus

    2015-02-01

    Intravital multiphoton imaging of arteries is technically challenging because the artery expands with every heartbeat, causing severe motion artifacts. To study leukocyte activity in atherosclerosis, we developed the intravital live cell triggered imaging system (ILTIS). This system implements cardiac triggered acquisition as well as frame selection and image registration algorithms to produce stable movies of myeloid cell movement in atherosclerotic arteries in live mice. To minimize tissue damage, no mechanical stabilization is used and the artery is allowed to expand freely. ILTIS performs multicolor high frame-rate two-dimensional imaging and full-thickness three-dimensional imaging of beating arteries in live mice. The external carotid artery and its branches (superior thyroid and ascending pharyngeal arteries) were developed as a surgically accessible and reliable model of atherosclerosis. We use ILTIS to demonstrate Cx3cr1GFP monocytes patrolling the lumen of atherosclerotic arteries. Additionally, we developed a new reporter mouse (Apoe-/-Cx3cr1GFP/+Cd11cYFP) to image GFP+ and GFP+YFP+ macrophages "dancing on the spot" and YFP+ macrophages migrating within intimal plaque. ILTIS will be helpful to answer pertinent open questions in the field, including monocyte recruitment and transmigration, macrophage and dendritic cell activity, and motion of other immune cells.

  6. Intravital live cell triggered imaging system reveals monocyte patrolling and macrophage migration in atherosclerotic arteries

    PubMed Central

    McArdle, Sara; Chodaczek, Grzegorz; Ray, Nilanjan; Ley, Klaus

    2015-01-01

    Abstract. Intravital multiphoton imaging of arteries is technically challenging because the artery expands with every heartbeat, causing severe motion artifacts. To study leukocyte activity in atherosclerosis, we developed the intravital live cell triggered imaging system (ILTIS). This system implements cardiac triggered acquisition as well as frame selection and image registration algorithms to produce stable movies of myeloid cell movement in atherosclerotic arteries in live mice. To minimize tissue damage, no mechanical stabilization is used and the artery is allowed to expand freely. ILTIS performs multicolor high frame-rate two-dimensional imaging and full-thickness three-dimensional imaging of beating arteries in live mice. The external carotid artery and its branches (superior thyroid and ascending pharyngeal arteries) were developed as a surgically accessible and reliable model of atherosclerosis. We use ILTIS to demonstrate Cx3cr1GFP monocytes patrolling the lumen of atherosclerotic arteries. Additionally, we developed a new reporter mouse (Apoe−/−Cx3cr1GFP/+Cd11cYFP) to image GFP+ and GFP+YFP+ macrophages “dancing on the spot” and YFP+ macrophages migrating within intimal plaque. ILTIS will be helpful to answer pertinent open questions in the field, including monocyte recruitment and transmigration, macrophage and dendritic cell activity, and motion of other immune cells. PMID:25710308

  7. Endothelial lipase is highly expressed in macrophages in advanced human atherosclerotic lesions.

    PubMed

    Bartels, Emil D; Nielsen, John E; Lindegaard, Marie L S; Hulten, Lillemor M; Schroeder, Torben V; Nielsen, Lars B

    2007-12-01

    Endothelial lipase (EL) is expressed in endothelial cells, and affects plasma lipoprotein metabolism by hydrolyzing phospholipids in HDL. To determine the cellular expression of EL mRNA and protein in human atherosclerotic lesions, we performed in situ hybridization and immunohistochemical studies on sections of carotid endarterectomy specimens from patients with symptomatic cerebrovascular disease. In each of eight patients, EL mRNA and/or protein were seen in areas between the necrotic core and the fibrotic cap where they colocalized with LPL and macrophage-specific CD68. Moreover, there was a positive association between the expression of EL mRNA and CD68 mRNA in plaques from 26 patients. The impact of differentiation from monocytes into macrophages, and subsequently foam cells (by incubation with acetylated LDL) on expression was studied using THP-1 monocytes and primary human monocytes. EL mRNA expression increased markedly when either type of monocytes was differentiated into macrophages. Upon further differentiation into foam cells EL mRNA decreased whereas protein levels remained high compared to monocytes. In conclusion, macrophages in advanced human atherosclerotic lesions display high levels of EL expression, and the level of EL expression varies greatly during transformation of blood monocytes into foam cells.